An adult male gypsy moth in a photo posted to gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth.

An adult male gypsy moth in a photo posted to gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth.

Aerial gypsy moth sprayings planned for Surrey in 2020

Treatment area is close to Port Mann Bridge

Aerial gypsy moth sprayings are planned near the Port Mann Bridge in 2020.

The treatment area is in Fraser Heights, next to Highway 1 and the South Fraser Perimeter Road, according to a release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development Wednesday (Dec. 18).

The sprayings would take place between April 15 and June 30, 2020.

The ministry is planning to aerially spray 241 hectares of residential and municipal parkland in north Surrey.

The area was hand sprayed in 2017 and 2018, and then aerially sprayed in 2019.

“It is now apparent that the treatments did not completely eradicate this infestation,” the release states.

READ ALSO: Gypsy moths ‘surviving’ in residential area of Guildford, trapping results show, March 27, 2017

Trapping and monitoring results over the past several years, according to the release, show “clear evidence” that gypsy moth populations are becoming established in the treatment areas.

“If left untreated, the invasive moth could spread to new areas of the province via vehicles, containers, rail and marine vessels.”

The ministry says that to prevent gypsy moth populations from “becoming established and minimize the risk they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees,” the government is planning to spray three regions in the province. Along with Surrey, there are sprays planned for Lake Cowichan and north of Castlegar.

Members of the B.C. Gypsy Moth Technical Advisory Committee will be hosting an open house at Erma Stephenson Elementary school library (10929 160th St.) on Jan. 21, 2020 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The ministry says gypsy moths are an introduced pest species, and the caterpillars feed on tree leaves and can damage forests, farms and orchards.

In recent years, large gypsy moth populations have defoliated sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario and the U.S.

The moths are unintentionally brought to B.C. on vehicles and equipment from eastern North America, the ministry says.

READ ALSO: Invasive gypsy moth found in Surrey, Oct. 21, 2014

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lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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