Video shows planes flying low in Saanich for invasive moth spray

Video shows planes flying low in Saanich for invasive moth spray
A low-flying plane is pictured over Saanich on May 3, 2024.

A plane was spotted flying low over the Gorge Friday morning as biological insecticide spraying to help reduce the spread of invasive spongy moths starts in Greater Victoria.

The aerial treatments occur every year on Vancouver Island, and are intended to kill spongy moth caterpillars and larve who feed on leaves and have destroyed sections of forests in Ontario and the Eastern United States, according to the province.

In B.C., the provincial government says it’s concerned about protecting forests, farms, orchards and trees – with large sprays planned for North Saanich, Greater Victoria, Cowichan Bay, Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach this spring.

“Untreated spongy moths risk spreading to other areas of B.C. and are a threat to urban forests and farms,” said the province in a release Wednesday.

READ MORE: B.C. targets invasive moths with sweeping insecticide spray on Vancouver Island

Residents in the area told CHEK News the planes were flying over the Burnside-Gorge around 7 a.m. A video of the plane can be viewed below:

A schedule released by the province says the first aerial treatment for Saanich (Gorge-Tillicum) and Esquimalt/Vic West took place Friday morning.

The first treatment for North Saanich is scheduled to take place Wednesday.

(Province of B.C.)

Other parts of the Island are expected to see the planes for first round of treatment next week, including Cowichan Bay and Salt Spring Island on May 6. Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach are both scheduled for May 10.

Colwood saw it’s first round of treatment is on Wednesday and Thursday.

The province says three aerial treatment sprays will happen in each area.

Each treatment will occur seven to 10 days apart and could take up to two days to complete.

Each spray is expected to commence at first light and end no later than 7:30 a.m.

Changes in weather conditions may cause delays or cancellations of sprays with short notice.

For more details about spongy moths and spray activity, go to: or call 1-866-917-5999.

With files from CHEK’s Adam Chan.

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