VIDEO: Mississauga Takes Action Against Disgusting Bug Infestation
Last year, news broke that some Mississauga residents were struggling to enjoy the tepid summer weather because of an influx of gypsy moth caterpillars and cankerworms.
This year, the city is taking action to ensure summer is a little less…insect-y.
For those who are unaware, an aerial spray program designed to control the pests began this week.
Private and public lands in specific areas of Wards 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 11 were or will be sprayed. In fact, Block A was sprayed on Wednesday, May 23 from 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. The spray affected parts of Wards 6, 7, 8 and 11 as well as 150 metres north and south of the QEW in Wards 1, 2 and 7
On Thursday, May 24 from 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., parts of ward 2 were sprayed.
On Friday, May 25, parts of wards 1 and 7 will be sprayed from 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
Brent Reid (in the jacket on the left), Acting Forestry Manager and Jamie Ferguson, Project Lead, Aerial Spray
“The spray is contingent on leaves being at least 30 per cent expanded and caterpillar hatch out as close to 100 per cent as possible,” said the city’s aerial spray project lead Jamie Ferguson.
“When those conditions are met, we then need to monitor weather for the right temperature, humidity, low wind and no precipitation in the immediate forecast.”
A video of the spray, courtesy of the City of Mississauga, can be seen below:
Specific spray dates are chosen 48 hours in advance and they can be cancelled up to 12 hours in advance if weather conditions change.
The city will issue a public notice 48 hours before each treatment on the aerial spray website and provide up-to-date information through 311 and through the city’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Spray areas include:
* Birch Glen
* Credit Reserve
* East Collegeway
* Erin Woods
* Erindale Park
* Erindale Village
* Erindale Woodlands
* Gordon Woods
* Lorne Crest
* Lorne Park Estates
* Meadow Wood - Rattray
* Mississauga Oakridge
* Mississauga Road
* Port Credit Village
* Sawmill Valley Drive
* Sherwood Forest
* Sir Johns Homestead
* Upper Parkland
* Whiteoaks Lorne Park
Who’s got the contract? Zimmer Air Services will be implementing the spray. Two applications will occur over a three-day period between the hours of 5 a.m. until 7:30 a.m.
Two helicopters with a spray system will fly about 15 to 30 metres above the treetops. Spraying is weather dependent and will only be done under the right conditions.
A traffic plan requires temporary roads, parks and trails closures, including Rattray Marsh. The closures are necessary to meet approval requirements from Transport Canada, according to the city.
Road closures are expected to last less than 30 minutes, between 5 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. All emergency services will have full access to all properties within the spray zones.
The city “is committed to ensuring all possible steps are taken to keep Mississauga healthy and habitable for all residents,” a news release reads. “The safety and health of residents and the protection of the environment are top priorities.”
As for noise, you may hear helicopters during the early morning. “All necessary safety precautions are taken to ensure minimal risk to the public, staff and the applicators,” the news release reads.
Residents are unlikely to experience any health effects and no special precautions are necessary or required. Individuals who would like to avoid exposure during a spray program may wish to consider the following measures:
- Remain indoors during the spray and up to 30 minutes thereafter.
- Close doors and windows when the spraying is taking place.
- Bring in laundry, toys and pets indoors before spraying begins.
- Practice good personal and food hygiene (e.g. hand washing after outdoor activities, especially after gardening; leave outdoor shoes at the door; washing all fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking).
- Cover lawn furniture, automobiles, outdoor tables, pools, BBQs, play equipment and sandboxes and/or rinse them with water after spraying is finished.
- Leave heating units/air conditioners on, with vents set to the closed position, or selecting the recirculate function.
- Contact Peel Public Health or your family physician if you are concerned that a personal medical condition may be aggravated by the spraying.
- The spray being used is called Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki (Btk), registered under the trade name of Foray 48B. Btk is a naturally occurring bacterium found in soil and is not a chemical. It has been “successfully used ” in 2006 and 2007 to control gypsy moth populations, according to the city.
Once applied, Btk biodegrades quickly, in approximately one to four days, through exposure to sunlight and other microorganisms. There are no groundwater contamination concerns as Btk does not travel through the soil beyond 25 cm. Btk is specific only to caterpillars and does not have impacts to mammals, birds, fish, or other insects, including honey bees.
Residents with questions or concerns related to the health impacts of aerial spraying with Btk can call the Region of Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 or speak to their family physician.
To find out if your home is in the spray area or for up-to-date information about the aerial spray details such as road closures, spray dates, times and locations, call 3-1-1 or click here.