THE first aerial-spraying treatment period to remove gypsy moths from Surrey and Delta will run from Wednesday, April 15 to Saturday, April 18, weather permitting.
Spraying will be by helicopter and start shortly after sunrise (5:20 a.m.) and be completed by 7:30 a.m. each day. Due to the size of treatment area, each treatment is expected to take four days to apply. Three separate sets of treatments are required this spring. As this spring is warmer than normal, and caterpillars are emerging earlier than normal, the ministry is aiming to have spraying completed by mid-May.
The spray areas, 4,576 hectares around 64 Avenue and 168 Street in Surrey, and 204 hectares in Delta (centred over the Delta Golf Course), will be sprayed with Foray 48B. The spray is safe for use on organic farms.
As well, a 26-hectare ground spray will be conducted on a rural property due south of the intersection of 172 Street and 56 Avenue in Surrey at Mound Farm Park beginning on Thursday, April 9.
The spray’s active ingredient is Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk). Btk is naturally present in urban, forest and agricultural soil around the province and does not harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects. Btk only affects caterpillars after they have ingested it.
The spray will be applied by three low-flying helicopters. Residents immediately next to the treatment areas are likely to hear the helicopters at some point during the treatment. The spray equipment is GPS-calibrated and controlled, and is functional only when the helicopters are 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 up-to-date information at 1 866 917-5999 and online at: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth
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.
People who wish to minimize their exposure should remain indoors with their windows and doors closed during the spraying and for at least 30 minutes after.