Ohio gypsy moths treatments set for first week of May

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REYNOLDSBURG – The Ohio Department of Agriculture plans to begin gypsy moth suppression treatments the week of May 3, weather permitting, that will last through mid-month.

Low-flying airplanes will apply the insecticides, which are not toxic to humans or pets.

“Recent suppression treatments across the north and east central parts of the state, along with below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation, have led to a temporary decline in gypsy moth populations in Ohio,” said Ohio Agriculture Director Fred Dailey.

“One of our primary functions is to help assure the long-term health of the state’s natural and renewable resources, and oak is one of the most valuable tree species to this state.”

Treatments. About 2,842 acres in Champaign, Clark, Hardin, Lucas, Paulding, Pike, and Putnam counties are scheduled for aerial treatment.

Sites will be treated with Foray 48F, a formulation of Btk, or Bacillus thuringeinsis var. kurstaki, a naturally occurring bacterial insecticide that is particularly effective on the gypsy moth.

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

Flying low. In order to deposit the treatments 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 early evening if weather conditions (such as low wind speed, high humidity, and moderate temperatures) are better for flying.

Local authorities will be notified 24 hours in advance of treatment in the area.

Find out more. Treatment block information, including maps, can be found on ODA’s Web site at www.ohioagriculture.gov.

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 at 800-282-1955 (option 7, extension 3) during business hours.

Beginning May 1, the recorded message will be updated daily to identify areas already completed and blocks next scheduled for treatment.

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