The B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations plans to aerially treat up to 28,000 hectares of forest with the chemical Foray 48B in the Okanagan to reduce the population of western spruce budworm.
The proposed treatment areas are located near Bear Creek, the Ellis-Carmi forest service road, Clark Creek, Inkameep, Madden Creek, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls, Naramata Mountain, Shingle Creek, Sheep Creek, West Kelowna and Westwold.
The biological agent Foray 48B will be applied by helicopter on or about June 20 to 26, weather permitting.
Foray 48B is a biological insecticide that is widely used in B.C. and is registered with the Organic Materials Review Institute. The active ingredient in Foray 48B is the naturally occurring bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk).
The province maintains this spray only affects moth and butterfly larvae and can be used safely around humans and other animals, saying birds, household pets, fish and beneficial insects (including honey bees) are not affected.
The western spruce budworm is an insect that is native to B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. In its larval stage, it defoliates Douglas-fir, true firs, spruce and larch trees. A budworm outbreak has the potential to seriously harm or kill trees over large areas.