Insect Control Update #2

Insect Control Update #2

Tree pest caterpillar control program commences

Released: 9:16 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – On Sunday, May 23, 2021, weather permitting, the City will commence its tree pest caterpillar control program starting at 9:30 p.m. in Insect Management Areas 6 (East Elmwood, Kildonan Crossing, Munroe East, Talbot Grey, Tyne Tees), 7 (Radisson, Victoria West), and 8 (Kern Park, Kildare Redonda).

Spraying will occur throughout the city, and is scheduled to occur Sunday to Friday during the projected five to six-week program. Spraying will not occur if there is significant rainfall or winds are greater than 20 km/hr.

“Current surveillance information indicates that the tree pest caterpillars have hatched and the caterpillars are actively feeding on the leaves” said Ken Nawolsky, Superintendent of Insect Control. “Winnipeggers can expect to see moderate to high levels of defoliation in some parts of the city in late May and early June based on surveillance information.”

This season’s program will be treating boulevards and focusing on parks and cemeteries where tree pest caterpillar species are starting to cause defoliation on city trees. 

Treatment will be conducted utilizing Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki (Btk), a biological, organic product which is sprayed from high pressure tree sprayers directly onto the foliage of the trees. Once Btk is ingested by the tree pest caterpillars, they stop feeding and perish approximately two to three days later. This product has been approved for use in Canada by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and will be used in accordance with federally approved label directions by licensed pesticide applicators.

Buffer zones

All buffer zones will be respected. Crews will ensure that the sprayer is not treating within 30 metres on each side of a registered property on the front street, side street, and rear lane.

Residents can apply for a 30-metre buffer zone in order to exempt their property during a tree pest caterpillar treatment program. Property owners not wanting insecticides applied on or adjacent to their principal residence may register as “Anti-Pesticide Registrants” for tree pest caterpillar control using Btk. Those who want to register must provide identification that ties the registrant to the address being registered for a buffer zone. A photocopy or scanned document such as a driver’s licence or utility bill will suffice as acceptable identification proving primary residence. Please remember that a 72-hour turnaround time is required.

The in-person option of registering is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.  Buffer zone applications will still be received by:

Register for notification

The Insect Control Branch offers an automated telephone and email notification system. Residents who register for this service will receive daily phone or email notifications for all tree pest caterpillar activities. Residents can register for notification online or by contacting 311.

More information

For more information, contact 311or visit the City’s Insect Control website.

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