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May 16, 2008
Aerial spray planned to control infestations of European gypsy moth
The City of Toronto is planning an aerial spray to control outbreak populations of the European gypsy moth. The spray will take place on May 19 in the Moore Park/Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Mildenhall Rd., Bayview Ave./Lawrence Ave. E. and Sunnybrook Park areas. Spraying will take place between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

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.

Residents within the aerial spray zones will be notified by road signs located at major intersections near the spray zone. Specific spray dates are weather-dependent and are chosen 48 hours in advance. In the event of cancellation, 12 to 24 hours advance notification will be provided by automated message available on the Urban Forestry telephone line at 416-338-TREE (8733) or 1-888-394-5001.

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 or hosing off the furniture and equipment after the aerial spray application will also reduce exposure.

Local road closures will be in effect during the aerial spray to minimize any potential risks associated with the low flying helicopter. Notification signs will be 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, including what you can do to control the gypsy moth, road closures and spray dates, visit or call Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation’s 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 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency 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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