Manitoba

Winnipeg targets gypsy moths with aerial spraying

The City of Winnipeg will launch an aerial attack on the European gypsy moth next week, when it plans to spray in the St. Vital area.

The City of Winnipeg will launch an aerial attack on the European gypsy moth next week, when it plans to spray in the St. Vital area.

Crews will use low-flying aircraft to spray Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, an "organic, biological control product," starting on the morning of May 22, officials said.

The invasive moths have established themselves in the St. Vital area, including in St. Vital Park, where there is a large native oak tree population.

The aerial treatment will take place between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. CT in the park and in parts of the Minnetonka and Pulberry neighbourhoods, according to the city.

Planes will administer two more treatments sometime between mid-May and late June.

City entomologist Taz Stuart said crews must spray the gypsy moths because they are an invasive species and can devastate trees.

If the moth population is not controlled, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency can impose strict regulations on all greenhouses and garden centres in Winnipeg in an effort to curb the species' spread, Stuart said.