The Ministry of Forests has announced it will conduct aerial-spray treatments in the Victoria area in spring 2023 to eradicate spongy moths and minimize the risk they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees.
According to the province, trapping results from 2022 have shown clear evidence that spongy moth populations are becoming established in the treatment areas.
The moth is not native to the province, but an introduced pest, commonly transported to BC on recreational vehicles and outdoor household articles originating from affected areas such as Ontario and Quebec.
Once the invasive species arrives in the province, their presence poses a risk to forests, farms, orchards and urban trees.
Specifically, trees such as Garry oak, arbutus, red alder, aspen, cottonwood, maple, orchard fruit trees, nut trees and many species of urban ornamental trees are affected, as well as food crops.
If left untreated, the moths could spread to other areas of the province and pose a threat to native forests.
As a result, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has announced specific locations of concern that will be sprayed.
The following areas will be treated between mid-May and mid-June:
- 381 hectares in View Royal
- 267 hectares in Esquimalt’s
- 341 hectares in Belmont area
Each treatment will occur seven to 10 days apart and could take up to two days to complete.
Each spray is expected to start at first light and end no later than 7:30 a.m.
People who wish to minimize their exposure may remain indoors with their windows and doors closed during the spraying and for at least 30 minutes following the treatment.
The province warns changes in weather conditions may cause delays or cancellations of sprays with short notice.