COURTENAY, B.C.-The first aerial-spraying for gypsy moths near Courtenay is just around the corner. The provincial government is reminding people it’s happening on May 14th.

The spraying will be happening four kilometres north of the city along Highway 19A. A low-flying plane will start at 5:20am that morning and be finished by 7:30am.

This is the first of three treatments that will be needed to deal with gypsy moths, which are considered an invasive species. However, weather could delay the sprayings.

The 94-hectare spray area will be treated with Foray 48B, which contains Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk), an ingredient that has been approved for the control of gypsy moth larvae in Canada since 1961.

Foray 48B, and other Btk formulations, received certification for acceptable use on certified organic farms by the Organic Materials Review Institute of Canada in April 2018.

Btk is naturally present in urban, forest and agricultural soil throughout the province. It does not harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects, and affects caterpillars only after they have ingested it.

Anyone wishing to minimize contact with the spray material may choose to remain indoors with their windows and doors closed during the spraying, and for at least 30 minutes after. Pets and livestock that may be frightened by the aircraft should be brought indoors. Items not to be sprayed can be covered or moved indoors.

You can learn more by visiting the BC Government’s website.