Sarnia gypsy moth spraying proceeding

Gypsy moth egg masses. (Photo labeled for reuse on Google courtesy of https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Aerial gypsy moth spraying over Sarnia will go ahead as planned, despite concerns being raised by a local councillor.

A special meeting of Sarnia City Council lasted less than five minutes Friday morning.

It was held virtually at Councillor Margaret Bird’s request to reconsider a decision made April 20 supporting a gypsy moth control program.

Councillor Bird said she had received many concerns from the public regarding health issues connected to the spraying, which would be done using a helicopter.

“When council first voted on this motion, we were not made aware of the full extent of serious potential effects on the health and well-being of people, pets and wildlife,” Bird said in her motion. “I know that spraying manually takes much longer, but what’s more important, the health and well-being of humans, pets and wildlife or simply protecting trees that we know will eventually recover.”

Council defeated Bird’s motion for further reconsideration without discussion in a recorded 6-3 vote.

Councillor Dave Boushy and Mayor Mike Bradley supported the motion so it could be discussed on the floor.

Zimmer Air Services was set to spray over 63.5 hectares of the city from a twin-engine helicopter Wednesday, May 20 but that was cancelled at the last moment.

Another flight is scheduled for June 15.

Zimmer Air Services has said it should take about 15 minutes to spray each of the four impacted areas, including:

– Canatara Park, Lake Chipican Drive
– Oak Acres Park
– Lakeshore Rd East of Modeland Rd
– Colborne Rd N of Michigan, S of Cathcart Blvd East to Errol Rd and Ridgewood Drive

Area homeowners will be sent a notice one week before the first application of the biological pesticide Foray 48B Biological Insecticide Aqueous Suspension.