COURTENAY, B.C.- Residents are being invited to an open house to discuss the 2018 gypsy moth aerial spray treatment program in Courtenay.

Studies over the past year have shown an increasing number of gypsy moths in the proposed treatment area, which is about four kilometres north of Courtenay along Highway 19A.

A government release explained that if the area is left untreated, the moths could spread to new areas of the province through vehicles, containers, rail and marine vessels.

Gypsy moths have been classified as a pest. The caterpillars feed on tree leaves and can damage forests, farms and orchards. In recent years, large gypsy moth populations severely damaged sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario and the eastern United States.

The open house will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 24th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Tsolum Building in Lewis Park.

Member of the B.C. gypsy moth technical advisory committee will be joined by representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Members of the Ministry of Agriculture will also be on hand, as well as other experts, to answer questions and provide further information about the 2017 trapping season and the proposed 2018 treatment areas.

For more details on gypsy moths, visit the provincial government’s website through this link.