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May 23, 2007
Aerial spray for European gypsy moth scheduled
The City of Toronto will undertake the second of two planned aerial sprays in two areas of Etobicoke on Thursday, May 24, between 6:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. or on Friday, May 25, between 5:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. to control outbreak populations of the European gypsy moth. Application of the aerial spray is weather-dependent.

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 Thursday, May 24 or Friday, May 25. The first spray zone is Princess Margaret Blvd. and Kipling Ave. (Ward 3 and 4). 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 Thursday’s spray is cancelled the spray will be planned for Friday. If the spray is completed as planned there will not be a need for a third spray date.

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.

For up-to-date information about gypsy moth control in Toronto, road closures and spray dates, including what you can do to control the gypsy moth, visit 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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