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May 4, 2007
Public meetings to discuss infestation and control of European gypsy moth
  
The City of Toronto will hold community meetings to outline the strategy to control outbreak populations of the European gypsy moth in some areas of the city.

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.

In May, Toronto is planning to apply an aerial spray of Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki), a naturally occurring bacterial pesticide, to two areas in Etobicoke. The first area is near Princess Margaret Blvd. and Kipling Ave. (Ward 3), and the second is in the area of North Dr. and Valecrest Dr. (Ward 4). In addition, more than 100 trees in 10 other locations of the city will be sprayed from a ground-based sprayer. Specific spray dates are weather dependent and will be selected 48 hours in advance. Urban Forestry has been working since December 2005 to control gypsy moth by removing egg masses from trees in areas of infestation.

Btk is a lower-risk pesticide, and is exempt from the restrictions of the Pesticide Bylaw. Btk is considered a safer alternative to pesticides previously used to control gypsy moth and poses minimal risk to human health when used as directed. The health and safety of residents and the health of the environment are top priorities for the City of Toronto.

Toronto residents are invited to attend a community meeting to hear more about the spraying program, including control methods which can be initiated by homeowners. The meetings will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. as follows:

Monday, May 7: Bayview Arena, 3230 Bayview Ave.
Tuesday, May 8: Richview Collegiate Institute, 1738 Islington Ave.

For more information about gypsy moth control in Toronto, visit http://www.toronto.ca/trees or call Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Urban Forestry Branch at 416-338-TREE (8733).

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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