Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources were on hand to explain how they plan to slow the spread of the Gypsy Moths in Marshall County.
The nursery inspector gave information on the life-cycle of the pest along with the types of plants they like to eat. Primarily they like to eat Oak leaves, although they eat 500 types of plants. A single caterpillar can eat 11 square feet of foliage in one year.
The plan to slow the spread is not to eradicate the moths but to manage the rate at which they move through the state. There are several treatment options including: take no action, conduct additional surveys, ground treatments and air treatments.
The recommendation by the DNR is “mating disruption.” This process includes the use of pheromone flakes and droplets that will be spread be a crop duster in June. The female pheromone is in the flakes and droplets and will cause the male Gypsy Moths to fly around searching for the females until the drop from exhaustion.
The treatment will be sprayed on trees although some of it will end up on vehicles, decks, and such. There should be no effects on swimming pools, dog dishes of food and water, livestock, bees and more. The treatment is a half cup to one cup per acre. It is recommended that people should stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the spraying is completed.
Citizens have an opportunity to express the comments and concerns to the DNR through February 25th.