Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spraying to control the Gypsy Moth in Ohio

REYNOLDSBURG – Yellow planes flying low in Marion County on Monday morning targeted gypsy moth mating, said a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The ODA began aerial treatments designed to disrupt gypsy moth mating on 25,699 acres in Crawford, Delaware, Franklin and Marion counties.

To help protect Ohio’s diverse habitat, the ODA operates multiple programs aimed at managing the gypsy moth in Ohio. One such program, the Slow-the-Spread program, focuses on monitoring, detecting and reducing isolated populations to slow the gypsy moth’s movement across Ohio through treatments.

Airplanes fly 100-200 feet above the tree tops to apply the treatment throughout the day. The treatments in central Ohio were to be done over one or two days.

In all counties receiving treatment, the department uses a single application of the product Disrupt II. This product does not kill the moth, but it disrupts the mating process by confusing the male as it searches for a female mate. Disrupt II is not harmful to birds, plants, pets or humans.

Pre-recorded daily updates about planned treatment blocks are available to citizens by calling 614-387-0907 or 800-282-1955, ext. 37, after 5 p.m.

The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs and is especially fond of oak. A healthy tree usually can withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies. To date, 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties have established gypsy moth populations.

For more information on the gypsy moth, including maps of treatment areas and videos of the mating disruption process, visit online.

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