Gypsy Moth Open House Hosted by Marion City Parks Department and Ohio Department of Agriculture

The City of Marion Parks Department and the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be hosting a Gypsy Moth Open House on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Marion Recreation Center, 240 W. Church St., to discuss the aerial treatments planned for spring.

Areas across Ohio are slated to receive gypsy moth aerial treatments by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in early spring to slow the spread of the destructive insect.  Department staff members will host several open houses in treatment areas that will offer attendees the opportunity to speak directly with those who work with the program, learn about the pest, and view maps of treatment areas.

Citizens can also visit www.agri.ohio.gov/gypsymoth to learn more about this pest and to view maps of the treatment areas.  Those with questions who live near a treatment area will have the opportunity to talk with experts at the open house on February 19, 2013.

Gypsy moths are invasive insects that attack more than 300 different types of trees and shrubs, with oak being the preferred species.  In its caterpillar stage, the moth feeds heavily on the leaves of trees and shrubs limiting their ability to photosynthesize.  A healthy tree can usually withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies.

Currently in Ohio there are 51 counties under gypsy moth quarantine, limiting the movement of regulated articles out of those counties.

To combat this problem, the department uses different types of treatment strategies to slow the spread of gypsy moth in Ohio.  Officials have three programs aimed to manage the pest, including:

  • The “Suppression” program, which occurs in counties where the pest is already established.  Landowner(s) must voluntarily request treatment to help suppress populations.
  • The “Slow-the-Spread” program, which occurs in counties in front of the larger, advancing gypsy moth population.  In these counties, officials work to detect and control isolated populations in an effort to slow the overall advancing gypsy moth infestation.
  • The “Eradication” program, which occurs in uninfested areas where an isolated population occurs due to the import of infested firewood or outdoor equipment.  Department officials use aggressive eradication efforts to eliminate gypsy moth from these areas.

Treatments used for gypsy moth control include:

  • Foray (Btk), a compound derived from a naturally occurring bacteria found in the soil that is effective in gypsy larvae control
  • Mating disruption product, flakes or liquid that disrupt the male moth’s ability to locate females during mating season
  • Dimilin, a growth regulating insecticide that attacks gypsy moth larvae
  • Mimic, a growth regulating insecticide that attacks gypsy moth larvae
  • Gypchek, a bio-insecticide specifically used for control of gypsy moth

The department uses different types of treatments, depending on the location and extent of infestation.  All treatments require an aerial application.  Foray, Dimilin, Mimic, and Gypchek treatments will take place in early to mid-May, and mating disruption treatments will begin in mid-June.  The treatments are not toxic to humans, pets, birds or fish.

Citizens who cannot attend the open houses and would like to provide official comment about the proposed treatment blocks should send correspondence to the department by March 1.  Letters can be sent by e-mail to plantpest@agri.ohio.gov or by hard copy to the attention of the Gypsy Moth Program, Plant Health Division – Building 23, Ohio Department of Agriculture, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6400 or e-mail at adkins@agri.ohio.gov.

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