The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development has applied to spray pesticide near Courtenay.

The goal is to get rid of the growing population of gypsy moths.

The Ministry says they’ve been keeping an eye on the moths over the past year and their numbers are growing. The moths are a risk to trees, farms, and orchards.

The Ministry wants to spray a 94-hectare area along Highway 19A north of the city to prevent them from spreading to other areas of the province.

It’s planning on four sprayings between April 15th and June 30th.