Spruce budworm spraying planned

The Ministry of Forests announced Monday it plans to aerially treat about 16,000 hectares of forest for spruce budworm.

  • Jun. 10, 2015 12:00 p.m.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced Monday it plans to aerially treat about 16,000 hectares of forest in the Williams Lake Timber Supply Area and the 100 Mile House Timber Supply Area to reduce western spruce budworm populations.

For the spraying, the biological agent Foray 48B will be applied by two fixed-wing aircraft (AT-802 Air Tractors) on or about June 13 to July 3, 2015, weather permitting, the ministry said in a press release.

Sites near Meldrum Creek and Buckskin Lake (west of Williams Lake), 114 Mile House, 70 Mile House, Lac La Hache and Loon Creek (east of Clinton) will be part of the program.

The western spruce budworm is an insect 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 proposed treatment areas can be viewed at the Cariboo Region Forest Health Program office in Williams Lake, 640 Borland St., Suite 300.

The maps of the proposed treatment areas in the Cariboo are also  available online:

https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/rsi/ForestHealth/Western_Spruce_Budworm_Spray_2015.htm.

Foray 48B is a biological insecticide widely used in B.C. and is registered with the Organic Materials Revie Institute.

The active ingredient in Foray 48B is the naturally occurring bacterium  Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk).

“This spray only affects moth and butterfly larvae and can be used safely around humans and other animals,” the ministry noted.

“Birds, household pets, fish and beneficial insects (including honey bees) are not affected.”