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Gypsy Moth Treatments Today at 4 Locations
Indiana Ag Connection - 05/14/2019

Aerial treatments to eradicate the invasive gypsy moth from sites in Fulton, LaPorte and Porter counties, and a site in the Richmond area, are slated to take place May 14.

Detailed maps of the treatment sites can be found at gypsymoth.IN.gov.

Treatment begins shortly after sunrise but could be delayed until later in the morning or to the next favorable day due to unfavorable weather conditions such as morning fog or rain. Treatment should take about an hour.

During treatment, people will see a yellow airplane flying 75-125 feet above the treetops. The airplane distributes a spray containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, referred to as Btk, into the treetops of infested areas where non-native gypsy moth caterpillars feed. It kills gypsy moth caterpillars as they feed on tree leaves by disrupting their digestive systems.

For the sites in the counties of Fulton, LaPorte and Porter, it will be the first application of the season, and a second treatment will occur four to seven days later. For the Richmond site, it's the second treatment of the season.

Btk occurs naturally in soil and has been used for decades by organic gardeners. It has an excellent safety record for people and animals. People who live or work near the treatment area might choose to take common-sense precautions, including staying inside when the plane is flying, and for about 30 minutes after treatment is completed. This gives the material time to settle and adhere to treetops.

The gypsy moth is one of North America's most devastating invasive forest pests.

For more information, call 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (663-9684) or call the local county extension office at 1-888-EXT-INFO (1-888-398-4636). For more information about gypsy moth, see gypsymoth.IN.gov.

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