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B.C. sets window for invasive moth spraying

The B.C. government has set the date for its invasive spongy moth control work.

Provincial government officials said the Ministry of Forests will be working in Cranbrook on May 22 and 23.

The exact schedule may change, depending on the weather and conditions.

“Each treatment will occur seven to 10 days apart and could take up to two days to complete. Each spray is expected to commence at first light and end no later than 7:30 a.m.,” said the B.C. government.

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“Changes in weather conditions may cause delays or cancellations of sprays with short notice.”

The province said this is meant to minimize the risk spongy moths pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees.

“Spongy moth caterpillars feed on tree leaves and have defoliated sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario and the eastern United States in recent years,” said B.C. officials.

“Untreated spongy moths risk spreading to other areas of B.C. and are a threat to urban forests and farms.”

The ministry’s spraying will encompass 299 hectares in Cranbrook.

The work will involve the pesticide Foray 48B, which B.C. officials said is used in organic farming.

“The active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (BtK) is naturally present in urban, agricultural and forest soils in the province,” said B.C. officials.

“It affects only moth and butterfly caterpillars after they have ingested it. The sprays target the emergence of spongy moth caterpillars.”

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