Provincial government applies for gypsy moth treatment in Saanich

December 8, 2016

The Provincial government has applied to aerial spray an outbreak of gypsy moth in the vicinity of Bear Hill Regional Park. The application was made under the Integrated Pest Management Act. 
Want to know more?
  • Any questions should be directed to the Provincial contact, Tim Ebata at 250-387-8739.
  • Attend the open house:
    • Monday, January 16 2017
    • 3-8 p.m.
    • Howard Johnson’s Banquet Room, 4670 Elk Lake Drive
    • Representatives from the BC Gypsy Moth technical advisory committee will be in attendance to answer questions about the proposed treatment. 

As part of the statutory requirements for obtaining a permit to aerial spray, the Ministry has requested that a public bulletin be placed at the municipal hall (770 Vernon Avenue). The bulletin consists of a map of the spray area, a copy of the permit application, and Provincial contact information. Residents can also view the application and map online.

The spray will occur approximately in May 2017. There will be three applications, each about a week apart. In advance of the spray, the Province will send information to each effected property and beyond. There will be notifications in local publications as well as signage.

The gypsy moth is an invasive species that has both environmental and economic impacts. It is particularly damaging to oak ecosystems and can cause quarantines limiting international trade. It has been successfully treated at Mount Douglas in 2004 and Cedar Hill in 2005.

The pesticide to be used is called Btk. Health Canada has assessed the human health risks to exposure to Btk formulations and has concluded they may be used over populated areas. Individuals who wish to avoid exposure to the spray can simply stay indoors during the treatment and wait for a half hour afterwards to avoid direct contact with the spray droplets.  Btk is does not discriminate between pests and other caterpillars of moths and butterflies. A rare butterfly has been documented on Bear Hill and experts will be consulted to determine a mitigation plan.

Please note that this is a Provincial initiative and that Saanich has no authority in this process. However we are committed to providing the public with the necessary details to seek information from those leading the initiative.

If you have any questions, please contact Tim Ebata, Forest Health Officer, Resource Practices Branch, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations at 250-387-8739.