LOWDSA received notice June 5th, 2019 that Ontario's MNRF has begun the implementation of the approved Jack Pine Budworm 2019 Insect Pest Management Program. Insecticide spraying to control the jack pine budworrm infestation wil begin June 8 in the approved treatment area - Dryden, Wabigoon, Trout Lake, Whiskey Jack, Red Lake, and Whitefeather Forests. Specific areas being sprayed can be viewed on the attached map.
Residents and landowners within one kilometer of the affected areas have been notified that the aerial spraying of insecticide is taking place starting this weekend. The MNRF’s approved spray program is for the protection of Crown land resources only. Individuals or groups wishing to spray land other than Crown land may want to consult with a private contractor
According to the MNRF website, the spray used is a bacterial one called Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk). The insecticide is formulated from a naturally occurring bacteria and does not affect humans or other vertebrate animals such as birds, fish and mammals. It poses no environmental concerns and is commonly used in gardens and organic farming. The spray targets the larvae and is meant to stop the spread of the worm-like caterpillars. The larvae and worms eat the foliage of the trees which can cause mortality in trees within two to three years. Learn all about jack pine budworm here.
Each year the MNRF puts together a plan (April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020) that outlines how forests will be managed including harvesting, tree planting and trying to control devastating forest pests like the jack pine budworm. The forest management plan details can be found at www.ontario.ca/forestplans. We also have a detailed article on our news page about this year's plans and an article in the spring 2019 Lake of the Woods Area News (pg.29) that will help navigate all of the information presented.
Photo from Ontario MNRF website.