Media Release – Gypsy Moth Control Program – Aerial Spray

It is gypsy moth season and the City of Sarnia is aware of a local gypsy moth infestation.

In February 2020, Bio-Forest Technologies collected data on Gypsy Moth egg masses. As a result, a Gypsy Moth Control Program, including aerial spray is scheduled to start soon. Treatment will focus within an area 63.5 hectares large, with four areas determined to have severe infestations.

Aerial spraying will be used to ensure adequate coverage and effectiveness. Zimmer Air Services will be administering the aerial spray program, using a twin engine helicopter. The helicopter will apply the biological pesticide Foray 48B Biological Insecticide Aqueous Suspension. During the spray, to assist Zimmer Air Services, City staff will be controlling traffic in the spray areas.

The active ingredient in the spray is Bacillus thuringiensis v. kurstaki (Btk), Registration No.24977 under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada). 

Btk is a bacterium found naturally in soils, and has been used for some 30 years successfully world wide as a biological pest control agent. Btk has been used on millions of acres of wooded areas and agricultural crops in many countries worldwide. More information on this biological pest confirm agent, is available on the Government of Canada’s website: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/reports-publications/pesticides-pest-management/fact-sheets-other-resources/bacillus-thuringiensis-subspecies-kurstaki.html

Two applications are tentatively scheduled to take place between May 20, 2020 and June 15, 2020, dependent on weather conditions, the development of the host tree species and the gypsy moth larva.

The proposed date of the first application is May 20, 2020. The second application will occur within 5 to 7 days of the first application.

Spraying within each of the 4 areas will take approximately 15 minutes, and will take place between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

The aerial spraying schedule will be posted on the City’s website www.sarnia.ca, and Facebook, and Twitter prior to spraying. Aerial Spraying is highly dependent on weather conditions and is subject to change.

Homeowners within the four spray areas will be sent a letter. Additional information about the Gypsy Moth, spray maps and the City of Sarnia’s approach to mitigating the damage of this invasive species is available online: https://www.sarnia.ca/gypsy-moth-control-program/ 

Image: visual of gypsy moth and the defoliation damage it can cause.

https://www.sarnia.ca/app/uploads/2020/04/Plots-Picture-from-Patti-1.png

Image: visual ofpre-emergence monitoring plots established throughout the spray zone. Egg hatching and leaf development will be monitored on the trees with pink bands on them. This is done to determine the most effective time to complete the aerial spray program. 

For further information, please contact:

Patti Ross, Manager of Parks, Forestry and Horticulture

patti.ross@sarnia.ca or 519-332-0330 ext. 3801

Andrea Lane, Customer Service Manger
andrea.lane@sarnia.ca  or 519-332-0330 ext. 3231