Tree Pest Caterpillar Control Program Starts Sunday

Manitoba Post StaffNews

Winnipeg, MB –On Sunday, May 26, 2019, weather permitting, the City of Winnipeg’s Insect Control Branch will commence its tree pest caterpillar control program starting at 9:30 p.m. in Insect Management Areas 10 (Central St. Boniface, Dufresne, North St. Boniface, Tissot) and 11 (Norwood East, Norwood West). The program will be targeting the spring and fall cankerworm and elm spanworm species. Spraying is scheduled to occur Sunday to Thursday evenings during this program. Spraying will also not occur if there is significant rainfall or winds are greater than 20 km/hr.

“Current surveillance information indicates that the tree pest caterpillar larvae are feeding on the leaves causing many small holes known as ‘shot hole’ damage,” said Ken Nawolsky, Superintendent of Insect Control. “Winnipeggers can expect to see moderate defoliation in some parts of the city this May and June based on surveillance information.”

This season’s program will be treating City boulevards and focusing on City parks and cemeteries where the spring and fall cankerworm and elm spanworm 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 located in City parks and on City boulevards. 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.

There are three different options to register:

In writing to the Insect Control Branch at 3 Grey St., Winnipeg, MB R2L 1V2

Contacting 311

In person at 1539 Waverley St.

Please note that since identification is required, registrations cannot be processed over the phone.

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 tree pest control activities. To register for the automated email or telephone notification system, residents can go to City of Winnipeg – Register for Notification or contacting 311.