Crop Dusters To Disrupt Moth Mating

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The Ohio Department of Agriculture is taking steps to slow the spread of an invasive species of moth in Southeast Ohio.

Brett Gates, public information officer with the department, says the department will use a crop duster to spread a product that will disrupt the gypsy moths mating season. The product is meant to confuse the male gypsy moths as they search for the female gypsy moths.
Gates says the 100,852 acres in Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway and Vinton counties were carefully selected. 
"Our programmer undergoes grid trapping to detect any population development and then from there we determine any treatment areas needed to fight against the gypsy moth," said Gates.
Gates says in the caterpillar stage, the gypsy moth feeds off of more than 300 different types of trees and shrubs, posing a serious threat to the region's forests.
The chemical dropped from the yellow crop duster that will fly 100 feet above the trees is not designed to kill the moth or harm bystanders.
"There will be signs posted that the treatment is occuring. The product used is Disrupt II that is not harmful to  birds, plants, pets or humans," said Gates.
The treatments will take place on May 29 and continue until June for completion. Anyone interested in more information can view maps of the application areas and get general information about the gypsy moths on the department's website