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Painted Apple Moth Aerial Programme Starts


Painted Apple Moth Eradication Programme

Aerial Programme Starts

The extended painted apple moth eradication programme which includes aerial spraying about 8,000 hectares in west Auckland starts today. Unsuitable weather has delayed the operations for 10 days.

Suburbs in the extended aerial zone are: Te Atatu South, Massey West, Ranui, Henderson North, Western Heights, Palm Heights, McLaren Park, Oratia, Glen Eden West, Glen Eden, Sunnyvale, Henderson, Henderson North, Lincoln, Glendene, Kelston, Harbour View, Avondale, Waterview; parts of New Lynn, Mt Albert, Point Chevalier and Blockhouse Bay. Traherne Island and the north western motorway between Lincoln Road and Waterview ramps are also included. About 40,000 properties are in the zone.

Three aircraft are being used in the aerial spray operation - a Fokker Friendship, a small, fixed wing aircraft and a helicopter. The spray zone has been divided into two large blocks. The Friendship will cover the lower block (about 5,000 hectares) at the Waitakere ranges end of the zone and the small plane will cover about 3,000 hectares at the seaward side of the zone. Both will fly in a “racecourse” circuit – large oval circles starting from one end of the allotted area and moving methodically north/east. The helicopter will be used to “target” small areas of heavy caterpillar infestation – two gullies in the Wairau Creek and Glendene Stream, the Waikumete Cemetery and an area in Swanson near the Stagecoach bus depot.

The spray to be used is called Foray 48B. Its active ingredient is a naturally-occurring soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki or Btk for short. This product has been widely used throughout the world for over 30 years as a highly effective means of killing caterpillar pests. Some Btk products are approved organic pest control agents.

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