Spruce budworm spraying planned for Cariboo region

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations plans aerial spraying to reduce populations of western spruce budworm.

  • Jun. 10, 2013 7:00 a.m.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations plans to aerially treat approximately 28,100 hectares of forest in the Cariboo region to reduce populations of western spruce budworm.

The biological agent Foray 48B will be applied by helicopter on or about June 18 to July 3, weather permitting, on about a dozen sites on the eastern Cariboo plateau and areas near Alkali Lake, Exeter and Big Bar Creek, a Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations press release noted.

The western spruce budworm is an insect that is native to B.C. and the Pacific Northwest.

In its larval stage, it defoliates Douglas-fir, true firs, spruce and larch trees.

A budworm outbreak has the potential to seriously harm or kill trees over large areas.

The pest management plan and maps of the treatment areas can be viewed at the Cariboo Region Forest Health Program office at Suite 200, 640 Borland St., Williams Lake.

Foray 48B is a biological insecticide that is widely used in B.C. and is registered with the Organic Materials Review Institute. The active ingredient in Foray 48B is the naturally occurring bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk).

This spray affects only moth and butterfly larvae and can be used safely around humans and other animals. Birds, household pets, fish and beneficial insects, including honey bees, are not affected.