Gypsy moth treatments planned for May 7

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture plans to begin gypsy moth suppression treatments the week of May 7, weather permitting.

“The gypsy moth has moved south and west in the last year, so we are treating several new areas in east-central Ohio,” said Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey.

More than 38,000 acres in Ashland, Ashtabula, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Harrison, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, and Wayne counties are targeted for aerial treatment.

Most sites – nearly 30,000 acres – will be treated with Thuricide 48LV, a formulation of Btk, or Bacillus thuringeinsis var. kurstaki, a naturally occurring bacterial insecticide that is particularly effective on the gypsy moth.

About the chemicals.

Thuricide 48LV is non-toxic to humans, pets, birds or fish. It is an organic compound, considered safe enough to be used by organic gardeners.

Less than a quarter of the total acreage will undergo treatment other than with Btk. Approximately 8,550 acres in nine counties will be treated with diflubenzuron, at the express request of the landowners.

Diflubenzuron is a pesticide that prevents gypsy moth caterpillars from forming a protective outer shell. It is non-toxic to humans, pets and birds.

Prior notification.

Property owners located in designated treatment areas will be notified by block coordinators and local authorities of treatment dates.

In order to deposit the Btk effectively, planes must fly low, at treetop level. If a plane flies over a specific area, it may not be treating at that time.

Pilots may pass over areas outside the spray block boundaries for observation or negotiation of turns.

Treatments are usually applied in the early morning hours, but may occur in the evening if weather conditions (such as low wind speed, high humidity, and moderate temperatures) are better for flying.

More information.

Treatment block information, including maps, can be found on ODA’s Web site at www.state.oh.us/agr/. Maps of treatment areas can also be viewed at county extension offices.

For residents without Internet access, information about the progress of the suppression program can be obtained by calling ODA and asking for gypsy moth block information.

Call with questions. Call 1-800-282-1955 during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 614-387-0907 after hours and on weekends.

The recorded message will be updated daily to identify which areas have already been completed and the blocks next scheduled for treatment.

For other questions call 614-728-6400.

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