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Gypsy moth spraying to begin across Ohio, including Lorain and Cuyahoga counties

Posted: 10:49 AM, May 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-13 10:49:59-04
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CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Agriculture will conduct aerial treatments over more than 2,000 acres spread across Auglaize, Cuyahoga, Fulton, Hancock, Lorain, Lucas, Paulding, Seneca and Williams counties.

Treatments, which will begin mid-May, are designed to control the gypsy moth population in Ohio as larva and leaf developments reach optimal window for treatment. In Ohio, 51 counties are currently under gypsy moth quarantine regulations.

Gypsy moths are considered an invasive insect that defoliates over 300 species of trees and shrubs. In their caterpillar stage, the moth feeds on leaves of trees and shrubs. Typically, a tree can only withstand two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Aerial treatments are done by using a low-flying aircraft that fly just above tree tops.

Several factors are important for the success of the treatments, including high humidity, low temperature and minimal wind. Treatments will be conducted during the early morning.

The department will use Foray (Btk), a naturally occurring bacterium found in soil that interferes with caterpillars' feeding cycles. It also uses Gypcheck (NPV), a virus that affects only the gypsy moth caterpillars.

These treatments are not harmful to humans, pets, birds or fish.

Find maps of treatment blocks here.