Press Release – Indiana Department of Natural Resources

DNR

Aerial treatments to disrupt the mating process of gypsy moth are scheduled for sites in Fulton, Kosciusko, Porter and Wabash counties the week of June 18.

Planes will treat sites in Indiana after treatments in Ohio are completed. The treatment date depends on the weather and completion of treatments in Ohio.

Current scheduling indicates treatment may occur on June 20th or 21st depending on weather. The date will be announced by news release, at gypsymoth.IN.gov and through the DNR gypsy moth Twitter account, twitter.com/INdnrinvasive.

Maps of treatment sites and other information are also at gypsymoth.IN.gov.

Successful application of the treatment is dependent upon the lack of high wind or rain. The treatment typically starts in the early morning and continues until completed or stopped by weather.

This year’s mating-disruption treatments will be an aerial application of a product called SPLAT GM-Organic.

SPLAT is a liquid formulation that carries the scent of the female gypsy moth and falsely indicates an abundance of females in an area. The male moths recognize the scent and look for a mate in the wrong place. The males, are unable to find a female, fail to mate, and no offspring are produced to eat the tree leaves the next year.

The application poses no health threat to people, pets, livestock or other animals. Washing vehicles promptly with soap and water will remove the product.

The mating-disruption technique has been used in other states and in Indiana since 1999. It has proven effective where there is a low-level infestation and female moths are hard to find. The gypsy moth, which now has a foothold in some counties in northeast Indiana, was brought to this country from Europe 145 years ago, according to Phil Marshall, DNR forest health specialist.

“The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has successfully held back introductions of this pest throughout Indiana for more than 30 years,” Marshall said. “Now that the gypsy moth is within Indiana’s borders, however, residents can expect to see more of this pest throughout the next decade.”

The gypsy moth is a serious forest and urban landscape pest in the United States. It now occupies the northeastern part of the country, a portion of northeast Ohio, the lower peninsula of Michigan and the eastern portion of Wisconsin.

The gypsy moth is capable of defoliating 3 million acres of forest a year, which is equivalent to 70 percent of Indiana’s forested acreage. Most trees in Indiana’s forests are susceptible to gypsy moth damage. Gypsy moth larvae feed on many plants that are present in urban areas as well.

Drastic changes in ecological habitat due gypsy moth larvae defoliation may lead to the loss of other plants and wildlife. Decline or mortality of valuable timber may cause an economic impact detrimental to the timber and related industries.

For more information, call 1-866 NO EXOTIC (1-866-663-9684).

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

 

Contact Information:
Name: Megan Abraham
Phone: (317) 232-4189

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