Aerial Spraying to Combat Spongy Moth Infestation
May 2022

This spring, weather depending, expect to see low flying planes around the southern area of Canandaigua Lake and the Bristol hills. Over a multi-week period starting mid May 2022, aircraft will be used to spray Btk, a pesticide derived from naturally occurring soil bacteria, to minimize this year’s spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) caterpillar infestation. Btk is regarded as environmentally safe, as toxicity is limited to the targeted pest. Spongy moth caterpillars have caused significant defoliation throughout the region. The spongy moth is a non-native, invasive species.

Aerial Application

The modern day aerial application business is completely different from your mother’s crop duster. Today there are million-dollar turbine-engine planes, intricate GPS system and certificated pilots.

Aerial application industry pilots are highly trained in all aspects of aerial application, safe pesticide use, and entomology. Technology developments such as GPS swath guidance, aerial imagine, and prescription mapping and dispersal systems have revolutionized the aerial application industry. Planes are equipped with GPS systems that provide guidance accuracy for triggering the sprayers within a couple feet and guide the pilot using electronic mapping system.

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