The Quebec government is spending $33 million to control an insect outbreak that is wreaking havoc on the province's fir and spruce forests.
Some 456,000 hectares of forest in the Cote-Nord, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine regions will be sprayed with aerial insecticides to contain the damage caused by the eastern spruce budworm.
An entomologist with Quebec's forest, wildlife and parks department says the insect attaches itself to trees and causes them to die.
Pierre Therrien says the budworm is native to Quebec and its numbers tend to reach an epidemic state every 30 years or so.
He says the insect plays an important role in forest renewal, but it can affect economic activities that depend on the woodlands.
He says the product that's being sprayed is organic and isn't harmful to humans or other mammals.