Thursday, June 26, 2008

Record Number of Gypsy Moths in 2008

from the Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO - State officials say an insect that invaded Illinois 20 years ago has reached record numbers this year.

James Cavanaugh of the Department of Agriculture says part of the problem is that a fungus known to kill gypsy moth caterpillars has been dormant, probably because of dry weather last year. He says this year's wet, cool weather should help the fungus kill more of the caterpillars next year.

That's small comfort to Ken Klos of rural Wonder Lake. He says the brownish caterpillars stripped his 50 green oak trees bare of leaves within a week.

The Agriculture Department has quarantined several counties to slow the spread of the gypsy moth larvae. Local tree and shrub growers are encouraged to spray their plants and have them inspected before receiving a certificate to allow them to sell and ship their goods.


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