To prevent gypsy moth populations from becoming established and to minimize the risk they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees, the B.C. government plans to conduct aerial-spray treatments in the Courtenay area in spring 2021.
The 187-hectare treatment area is located around Highway 19A, between Rennison Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway.
The ministry has applied for a pesticide use permit to aerial spray 187 hectares of agricultural, residential and commercial properties.
Trapping and monitoring results over the past several years show clear evidence that gypsy moth populations are becoming established in the proposed treatment area. In 2018, a 94-hectare area within the 2021 project boundary was treated, but a residual population of gypsy moths survived just outside of the treatment area.
If left untreated, this invasive moth could spread to other areas of the province by attaching its egg masses to vehicles and other goods and materials.
The ministry is planning up to four applications of Foray 48B between April 15 and June 30, 2021, to control the moth. Foray 48B is used in organic farming and contains Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk). Btk has been approved for the control of gypsy moth larvae in Canada since 1961.
Btk is naturally present in urban, forest and agricultural soils throughout the province. It does not harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects. It affects only gypsy moth caterpillars after they have ingested it.
Residents are invited to submit their comments about this application (refer to Permit No. 738-0032-21/24) for evaluation by the Integrated Pest Management Act administrator, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Suite 200-10470 152 St., Surrey, B.C. V3R 0Y3, by Feb. 19, 2021.
- The gypsy moth is an introduced pest species. The caterpillars feed on tree leaves and can damage forests, farms and orchards.
- Large gypsy moth populations have defoliated sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario and the eastern United States in recent years.
- These moths are unintentionally brought to B.C. on vehicles and equipment from eastern North America. Infested locations are often subject to agriculture and transportation quarantines, and additional treatments including vehicle checks, product certification and increased pesticide use.
To learn more about gypsy moths, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth
Or call 1 866 917-5999 toll-free.
For information about the pesticide use permit application or for a map of the planned treatment area, visit:
The pesticide use permit application and map are available for viewing at Courtenay City Hall (830 Cliff Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2J7).