Updated Fri, Apr 6, 2012 2:24 pm
The Ohio Department of Agriculture will soon begin aerial treatments designed to control the gypsy moth population in Ohio.
The department says it will treat 8,494 acres of Hocking, Pickaway and Vinton counties during the early morning hours in mid-April, as larva and leaf development reaches the optimal threshold for treatment.
Treatments are administered using a low-flying aircraft that flies above the tree tops. According to ODA, high humidity, low temperatures and minimal wind are crucial for a successful application.
The department says that the treatment is not toxic to humans, pets, birds or fish.
Gypsy moths are invasive insects that defoliate trees and shrubs. In its caterpillar stage, the moth feeds on the leaves of trees and shrubs and is especially fond of oak. A healthy tree can usually withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies.
Aerial treatments are just one of three programs that the Department of Agriculture uses to manage the gypsy moth population in the state. Fifty-one Ohio counties are currently under gypsy moth quarantine regulations.