The first aerial-spraying treatment to eradicate invasive gypsy moths from 62 hectares of residential and municipal park land in North Surrey will occur Wednesday, May 1, 2019, weather permitting.
The spraying will occur close to Highway 1, near the Port Mann Bridge.
This is the same area that was ground (hand) sprayed in 2017 and 2018. It is now apparent that the ground sprays were not effective, likely due to limited site access.
Three separate sets of treatments are required this spring. Spraying will be carried out by a fixed-wing aircraft. It will start shortly after sunrise (5:20 a.m.) and be completed by 7:30 a.m. daily.
Unless delayed by poor weather, each treatment is expected to take one morning to apply. The ministry is aiming to have the spraying completed by mid-June.
The 62-hectare spray area will be treated with Foray 48B, which contains bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk). Btk is an ingredient that has been approved for the control of gypsy moth larvae in Canada since 1961.
Foray 48B and other Btk formulations received certification for acceptable use on certified organic farms by the Organic Materials Review Institute of Canada in April 2018.
Btk is naturally present in urban, forest and agricultural soil throughout the province. It does not harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects and affects caterpillars only after they have ingested it.
The spray will be applied by a low-flying plane. Residents immediately next to the treatment area are likely to hear the aircraft at some point during the treatment. The spray equipment is GPS-calibrated and controlled. Spraying will occur only when the plane is immediately over the treatment area.
Poor weather or wind may cause treatments to be postponed with little advance notice.
The Province will issue bulletins 24 hours before each treatment and provide current information at 1 866 917-5999, and online at: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth
Individuals subscribed to the gypsy moth listserv (automated email updates) will receive program updates.
The telephone line will be staffed during business hours and will provide up-to-date spray schedules and recorded information 24 hours-per-day. Social media will be used to update the public on current spray operations. Follow #Gypsymoth on Twitter for these updates.
Anyone wishing to minimize contact with the spray material may choose to remain indoors with their windows and doors closed during the spraying, and for at least 30 minutes after.
Pets and livestock that may be frightened by the aircraft should be brought indoors. Items not to be sprayed can be covered or moved indoors.
Subscribe to the gypsy moth listserv: http://lists.gov.bc.ca/mailman/listinfo/l_for_gypsymoth
Learn more about gypsy moth: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth
Or call toll-free: 1 866 917-5999
Multilingual health information is available by calling the BC Nurseline at: 811
Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer, discusses gypsy moth spray-treatment programs: https://youtu.be/FzTSmsxkJtc