Gypsy Moth Aerial Spray
48 Hour Notice
1st Spray: Sunday, May 26,2013
2nd Spray: Monday., May 27, 2013
Click here for media release
The European Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) is an introduced defoliating insect that is considered a major pest in North America. The caterpillar, or larva stage of the insect, eats the leaves of trees making them more susceptible to disease and damage from other insects.
The last outbreak of Gypsy Moth in Toronto in 2007 and 2008 was successfully suppressed through a combination of the build-up of natural enemies, integrated pest management measures and aerial and ground treatments of Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. kurstaki (Btk), a naturally-occurring bacterium having insecticidal properties.
From 2008 to 2011 levels of Gypsy Moth were low but in 2012, residents identified new concerns about high numbers of caterpillars. In September 2012 Urban Forestry conducted surveys in affected areas to determine the scope of the infestation.
Results of the survey show that Gypsy Moth egg mass densities are at levels which could result in moderate to severe defoliation of trees in a number of locations across Toronto. This level of infestation was not expected and is contrary to past population cycles throughout the Gypsy Moth's present range. Gypsy Moth outbreaks typically come in a 7-10 year cycle and last for 2-3 years. The results of the egg mass surveys point to another outbreak in these areas for 2013.
To combat the current infestation of Gypsy Moth, Urban Forestry plans to implement an integrated Gypsy Moth control program for 2013 that includes an aerial spray program over 324 ha, ground spray of approximately 60 trees, insecticide stem injection of 18 trees and egg mass removal on over 500 trees. The control program was adopted by the Toronto City Council on November 27, 2012.
An aerial spray program of Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. kurstaki (Btk), will be conducted in 11 areas of Toronto including a recently detected area on the Toronto Islands.
Click on image for a large picture and more detailed map
Maps of each of the aerial spray zones for 2013:
The timing of the aerial spray operation is dependent on development of the insect and trees and the weather. The Gypsy Moth spray window is May 21 – June 11, 2013. Spraying will take place between 5:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Specific spray dates are weather dependent and will be selected 48 hours in advance and posted on our website. A minimum of two sprays is required for each spray zone, with the sprays occurring approximately 3-5 days apart.
In addition to the aerial spray operations, ground spray with Btk, tree stem injection with TreeAzin® and manual egg mass removal will take place on individual trees in numerous locations throughout Toronto.