Final Surrey-Delta aerial gypsy moth spray begins May 10

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    VICTORIA: Surrey-Delta residents are reminded that the third and last aerial spray targeting gypsy moth is scheduled to begin Sunday, May 10, and end Wednesday, May 13 — between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. — weather permitting.

    As a general precaution, people who wish to minimize their exposure should remain indoors with their windows and doors closed during the spraying and for at least 30 minutes after. If you have health conditions and are concerned, speak to your health-care provider.

    Residents can contact HealthLink BC, available 24 hours a day by dialing 811, for information to help address any health concerns they have regarding the treatment. Residents can also view current health fact sheets at: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile90a.stm

    The gypsy moth spray treatment involves a Btk product — Foray 48B. Btk is approved for use by Health Canada and can be applied to certified organic farms without the farm losing its certification. The active ingredient occurs naturally in urban, agricultural and forest soil around the province. It is effective only in a caterpillar’s stomach, and is specific to their digestive system.

    The results of two extensive public-health monitoring studies in Vancouver and Victoria (1992 and 1999) did not show any increase in illnesses seen by health-care providers or in hospital emergency-room visits due to spraying. As well, the monitoring has not shown evidence of harmful effects on children with asthma or those with weakened immune systems.

    People can stay up-to-date on spray activities by signing-up for email alerts: http://lists.gov.bc.ca/mailman/listinfo/l_for_gypsymoth or following #Gypsymoth on Twitter. In addition, up-to-date schedule information is available 24 hours a day through the gypsy moth information line, 1 866 917-5999, and on the “Gypsy Moth in British Columbia” website: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth

    The areas − 4,576 hectares around 64 Ave. and 176 St. in Surrey, and 204 hectares between Highways 10, 99 and 91 in Delta − will be sprayed with Foray 48B to eradicate the introduced moth. Residents immediately next to the treatment areas may hear the low-flying helicopter as it turns around and realigns.

    Poor weather or wind may cause treatments to be postponed with little advance notice. Postponed treatments will be rescheduled for the next suitable morning.