The City of Toronto is implementing the first round of its aerial spray program during the week of May 25.
The spray is for tree-damaging European Gypsy Moths and will protect the canopy and vulnerable trees from infestation.
According to the City, gypsy moths are an invasive insect whose caterpillars feed primarily on the leaves of oak and other trees species. The severe leaf loss created by these insects can make trees weak and susceptible to diseases and weather fluctuations. Untreated, those pressures can result in the loss of public and private trees.
During the aerial spray, the City says one twin-engine helicopter with an ultra-low-volume spray system will fly about 15 to 30 metres above the tree canopy to apply a biological insecticide. The product must be applied directly to tree foliage, as Gypsy Moth caterpillars must feed on the treated leaves for the insecticide to be effective.
This year, the aerial spray will target a “high risk” area in Ward 2 – Etobicoke Centre, as it contains a “dense, mature, and large canopied oak tree community.”
Residents can expect the first round of aerial spraying on May 26 between 5:30 and 7:30 am, weather permitting. Should weather conditions be less than optimal, the City will reschedule the initial aerial spray. A second round will be applied within days, but specific dates have yet to be determined.
Spraying is weather dependent. As a result, specific spray dates are chosen 48 hours in advance and can be cancelled if weather conditions change. Residents within the affected spray zones are encouraged to check for updates at https://t.co/wRiQnLfjzT or call 311.
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) May 19, 2020
According to the City, the insecticide they are using is called Foray 48B Biological Insecticide Aqueous Suspension, of which Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki is the active ingredient (identified under Pest Control Products Act Registration Number: 24977 class 11).
A map of the designated spray areas which identifies each location’s specific spray date is available online.