Friday, May 23, 2008

Gypsy Moth Treatment to Begin Today

from the Prairie Farmer
Compiled By Staff
May 23, 2008

Weather permitting, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will begin its 2008 Gypsy Moth treatment program today (May 23).

At daybreak, two helicopters are scheduled to apply BTK to 1,388 acres in Woodridge and Cog Hill. The choppers then will split up, with one traveling to a 277-acre treatment site southeast of Naperville and the other to a 530-acre site near Oak Forest south of U.S. Route 6 and west of Illinois Route 50.

The work should take less than a day to complete. Each site also will receive a second application between May 28 and May 30. The same schedule will be followed.

The treatment program has been timed to coincide with the emergence of the destructive moths’ caterpillar. However, specific application dates could be affected by wind or rain. Maps of the treatment sites are posted HERE.

BTK, or Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, is a naturally-occurring bacteria commonly found in soil that has been safely used in the United States as an environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides for more than 40 years. It is non-toxic to humans, other mammals, birds, fish and most insects, including honeybees and lady bugs.

Gypsy Moths feast on the foliage of trees and shrubs, and large populations are capable of stripping plants bare. They obtained their name because the female moth cannot fly and typically lays her eggs on objects near where she is feeding, including campers, grills and backpacks. When these items are moved, the eggs ride along like a nomadic gypsy.

Funding for the treatments comes from the Slow the Spread program, a joint local, state and federal effort to reduce and control the spread of the Gypsy Moth.


Anonymous said...

This is a great program to protect our trees and forests. Invasive species are extremely disruptive to native ecosystems and must be well controlled, if not eradicated. Thank you.

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