Lymantria moths on Vancouver Island: British Columbia to spray pesticides
The British Columbia Ministry of Forests plans to spray three areas of Vancouver Island with a pesticide this spring, in an effort to control Lymantria moths.
Up to four aerial treatments will each take place in the View Royal, Nanoose Bay and Cowichan Lake areas between April 15 and June 30.
At View Royal, the pesticide will be used in a 50-hectare area south of Thetis Lake Regional Park and the Trans-Canada Highway.
In the center of the island, the spray will be deployed over 1,068 hectares south of Nanoose Bay to the northern edge of Nanaimo.
Finally, a 402-hectare area of Lake Cowichan, including part of the town of Lake Cowichan and the easternmost tip of the lake, will be sprayed this spring.
The province will use Foray 48B, which uses the active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk). Officials say Btk has been used to control Lymantria moth populations in Canada since 1961 and does not harm humans or other animals and insects.
AN INTRODUCED PEST
The Ministry of Forestry also plans to spray five other areas on the mainland to manage the invasive butterflies.
“Last year’s monitoring program trapped 98 male moths in these eight areas, indicating that the butterflies could become established in these locations if the proposed pesticide spraying is not carried out,” the province said. in a statement Thursday.
The ministry believes an increase in Lymantria moth populations in British Columbia may have been caused by outbreaks in Ontario and Quebec over the past three years.
Lymantria butterfly eggs can be transported to British Columbia if attached to recreational vehicles or other outdoor items that were in affected areas.
“If left untreated, invasive Lymantria mites could spread to other areas of British Columbia and pose a threat to native forests, orchards and urban trees,” the province said.
Moths can target Garry oaks as well as fruit trees and shrubs, such as apple trees and blueberries.
Anyone living in a planned spray area can send a comment to the Ministry of the Environment to have the permit application assessed or revised.
The permit number is 738-0032-21/24 and comments should be sent to the Administrator of the Integrated Pest Management Act, Department of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Suite 200- 10470 152 St., Surrey, BC V3R 0Y3, before March 12.