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May 18, 2007
Aerial spray for European gypsy moth scheduled
  
City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation’s Urban Forestry Branch will undertake the first of two planned aerial sprays in two areas in Etobicoke on Monday, May 21, 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. to control outbreak populations of the European gypsy moth.

The gypsy moth is a defoliating insect that is considered a major pest in North America. The caterpillar, or larvae stage of the insect, eats the leaves of trees, making them more susceptible to disease and damage from other insects.

A two-engine helicopter with an ultra low volume spray system will fly about 15 to 30 metres above the tree tops and will spray Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki (Btk) - (Foray 48B, Pest Control Product (PCP) Act registration number 24977). This pesticide contains naturally occurring bacteria. Btk is a lower-risk pesticide, and is exempt from the restrictions of Toronto’s Pesticide Bylaw. Btk, when used as directed and sprayed by air, is not considered a health risk to humans.

The health and safety of residents and the health of the environment are top priorities for the City of Toronto. No special precautions are required for residents in the spray zone. However, if you wish to minimize your exposure to Btk, remain indoors during and immediately after the spraying. Covering patio furniture or outdoor play equipment prior to spraying, and hosing them off afterward will also reduce exposure.

There will be two zones sprayed on Monday. The first spray zone is Princess Margaret Blvd. and Kipling Ave. (Ward 3 and 4), and the second zone is close to North Dr. and Valecrest Dr. (Ward 4). The entire area to be sprayed is a total of 70 hectares or about 0.1 per cent of Toronto’s total area. A second aerial spray will be scheduled for the following week. An aerial spray is reliant upon weather conditions that can only be determined 12 hours prior to the start of the spray. If Monday’s spray will be cancelled a media advisory will be distributed 6 p.m., Sunday, May 20. The second spray is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 24. The need for a third aerial spray will be determined after the second spray.

Local road closures will be in effect during the aerial spray to minimize any potential risks associated with the low flying helicopter. Notification signs are posted along local roads to announce the closures. Specific exit routes have been developed out of each spray zone area.

In tandem with the aerial sprays, Urban Forestry will also spray more than 100 trees in 10 other locations of the city with a ground-based sprayer. Signs will be posted at proposed ground spray sites in advance of the spray application.

A briefing will be held at 61 Edgehill, Ave., south end of the parking lot, following the spray, at 8 a.m, to report on the aerial spray and outline next steps.

For up-to-date information about gypsy moth control in Toronto, including what you can do to control the gypsy moth, road closures and spray dates, visit http://www.toronto.ca/trees or call Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Urban Forestry Branch at 1-888-394-5001.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation media hotline, 416-560-8726


 

 

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