Spruce budworm spraying this week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Spruce budworm spraying this week

Spruce budworm defoliate stands of spruce and fir trees very quickly. Severely affected stands will turn a rust colour because of the dried out needles before the wind takes the needles away and the stand takes on a greyish appearance.
Image Credit: SOURCE/Natural Resources Canada

KAMLOOPS - The province will be taking to the skies to treat more than 23,000 ha of forest in the Kamloops region and another 29,000 ha in the Merritt and Lillooet areas for western spruce budworm.

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will apply Foray 48B by helicopter to 17 sites near Barnes Lake, Robbins Range, Lac le Jeune, Logan Lake and Westwold in the Kamloops region for a total of about 23,200 ha, 13 sites in the Gun Lake and Gold Bridge areas covering 5,390 ha northwest of Lillooet and 14 sites covering 23,800 ha of forest around the Stump Lake, Kingsvale, Coldwater and Kane Valley areas of Merritt.

The treatment is used to help reduce populations of the budworm, which defoliates Douglas fire, true firs, spruce and larch trees, while in the larval stage. The insect is native to B.C. and the Pacific Northwest and is considered one of the most serious pests to fir and spruce forests in North America according to Natural Resources Canada. In the early stages budworm typically lives and feeds on stems and needles, though will occasionally feed on seeds and cones as well.

Foray 48B is a biological insecticide safe to be used around humans and other animals, including birds, household pets, fish and beneficial insects such as honey bees. The spray only affects moth and butterfly larvae.

Except for the Lillooet area, all of the spraying is set for south of Kamloops. Spraying is not set to occur within the boundaries of any municipality.

More information on the pest management plan, including maps of the treatment areas can be viewed at the Thompson Okanagan Region Forest Health Program office at 441 Columbia Street in Kamloops.

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca, call (250)819-3723 or message through Twitter @JennStahn.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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