There will be aerial spraying in parts of Toronto again this week

Jun 2 2020, 6:40 am

The City of Toronto is implementing the second round of its aerial spray program later this week.

The first round took place last Thursday, and this round is expected to take place on June 4, between 5 and 7:30 am.

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.”

According to the city, the spray area is located south of Eglinton Avenue West and west of Kipling Avenue, between Warrender Avenue and Princess Margaret Boulevard. A map of the designated spray area is available online.

The City says spraying is weather dependent and can only be initiated in the right conditions.

“As a result, specific spray dates are confirmed 48 hours in advance and can be cancelled if weather conditions change.”

The City of Toronto also says 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).

The pesticide does not affect adult moths, butterflies, bees, fish, birds or mammals. This is a biological control made from a naturally occurring bacterium found on dead or decaying matter in the soil that poses minimal risk to human health and is approved by Health Canada for urban aerial use.