ODA to begin spongy moth treatments

Gypsy moth female with egg mass
Female gypsy moths are larger than the males and have off white-colored wings. They do not fly and lay fuzzy, tan-colored egg masses with an average of 500-1,000 eggs. Eggs are laid in late summer or fall and hatch the following spring. The masses can be found on trees, logs, wheel wells or almost any available surface. (University of Wisconsin-Extension photo)

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture will begin aerial treatments to control populations of the invasive species the spongy moth, formerly called Gypsy Moth, in nine counties in Ohio including Auglaize, Fairfield, Hardin, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Logan, Vinton and Washington.

The treatments to stop the spread of spongy moth consist of the product SPLAT GM-O, which disrupts the moth’s mating process by confusing the male as it looks for a female mate. A second product known as Foray 48B will also be used in Licking County which will target the larval stage of the moth.

Both applications will be administered using a low-flying yellow aircraft, about 100 feet above the treetops. Individuals are instructed to wash their hands and clothes if they come in contact with the treatment. However, both treatments are not harmful to animals or humans.

The first treatments will start in Licking County on May 6, followed by a second application on May 13. The remaining treatments will take place in mid-June.

Treatment dates and information can be found on ODA’s Spongy Moth webpage: https://agri.ohio.gov/divisions/plant-health/spongy-moth-program. In Ohio, currently 51 counties have a spongy moth population present.

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