INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – Aerial treatments to disrupt the mating process of gypsy moth in Wabash and Adams counties is set to take place on Tuesday, June 22, weather permitting, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced.
The DNR said planes will treat sites in Indiana after treatments in Ohio are completed. If treatments do not occur on Tuesday, they will take place as soon as weather is suitable.
Treatment typically begins in the early morning and continues until completed or stopped by weather. During treatments, the DNR said airplanes will be flying 75-125 feet above the treetops. The mating disruption technique has been used in other states and in Indiana since 1999 and has proven effective where there is a low-level infestation and female moths are difficult to find.
This year’s mating disruption treatments will be an aerial application of SPLAT GM-Organic, the DNR said. SPLAT is a liquid that carries the scent of the female gypsy moth and falsely indicates an abundance of females in the treated area. The males are unable to find a female, fail to mate and no offspring is produced.
The DNR said the application poses no health threat to people, pets, livestock or other animals. Promptly washing vehicles with soap and water will remove the product.
Gypsy moth is one of North America’s most devastating invasive forest pests. It was brought to the United States from Europe in the 1860s. The DNR said it is capable of defoliating three million acres of forest a year. Most trees in Indiana’s urban and natural forests are susceptible to gypsy moth damage. The insect is a threat to wildlife habitat and the timber industry.
For more information, call 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (663-9684) or call the local county extension office at 1-888-EXT-INFO (1-888-398-4636). Follow the Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology on Twitter @INdnrinvasive.
Detailed maps of the treatment sites are at gypsymoth.IN.gov.