A gypsy moth. (File photo, courtesy of Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.)

Public meeting today about gypsy moth spraying in North Surrey

Provincial officials say trapping and monitoring revealed a growing population across 46.5 hectares in Surrey

SURREY — An open house is planned in Surrey today to inform the public about a proposed “gypsy moth ground spray program” to address the pest’s growing population in North Surrey.

“Trapping and monitoring results over the past four years indicate a growing gypsy moth population in the proposed treatment area, 46.5 hectares of residential land in North Surrey,” says a B.C. government news release, sent by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The April 5 open house is set for 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Erma Stephenson Elementary school gymnasium, located at 10929 160th St.

• RELATED STORY: Gypsy moths ‘surviving’ in residential area of Guildford, trapping results show, from May 2017.

• ALSO: Gypsy moth infestation discovered in Cloverdale, from Oct. 2014.

“Members of the B.C. Gypsy Moth Technical Advisory Committee will be joined by representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as other experts, to answer questions and provide information about the proposed ground spray,” the government release states.

If left untreated, authorities warn, the moth “could spread to new areas of the province through vehicles, containers, rail cars and marine vessels, and lead to quarantines which would impact agricultural and horticultural businesses in the area.”

The gypsy moth is an introduced pest species.

“The caterpillars feed on tree leaves and can damage forests, farms and orchards. Large gypsy moth populations defoliated sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario and the eastern United States in recent years,” the release states.

In April 2015, gypsy moth spraying in Surrey and Delta caused controversy as residents complained about health problems and noise from the helicopters spraying the treatment.

For more information, visit gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth.

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