Aerial treatment planned for gypsy moth in North Surrey, B.C., next year

VANCOUVER — The B.C. government says it has to take to the air in another attempt to wipe out the gypsy moth in Surrey.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations says it has applied for a pesticide-use permit to aerial spray a section of residential and municipal park land in northern Surrey next year.

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The same property has been sprayed from the ground in the last few years but the government says that hasn't been effective, and trapping and monitoring results show the moth is becoming established.

If left untreated, the moths could spread to new areas of the province through vehicles, containers, rail and marine vessels, the say way the pest came to B.C.

The caterpillars feed on tree leaves and can damage forests, farms and orchards.

Large gypsy moth populations have defoliated sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario and the eastern United States.

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