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Second Gypsy Moth Spray Completed June 3

UPDATE : The gypsy moth spray is complete as of 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3.

Weather permitting, a portion of the Village will be sprayed on Monday June 1, 2009 between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to help reduce gypsy moth numbers and slow their spread. The 2009 Gypsy Moth Aerial Spray Map shows affected areas that will be treated. Weather conditions, including wind speeds, must be ideal in order for the spray to be effective. Other attempts to conduct the spray will be made during this week if Monday’s conditions are not suitable.

Low flying helicopters will fly just over tree tops to apply a fine mist of BTK , a naturally occurring bacterium that is not harmful to humans, pets, or the environment. Young gypsy moth caterpillars feeding on treated plant leaves will be killed soon after ingestion.

This is the second and final gypsy moth spray for the season. The first took place on May 21. Updates or changes to the spray date will be posted here.

About Gypsy Moths

Gypsy moth eggs hatch into caterpillars in April or early May. Their bodies are covered with black and brown hairs, and a series of five pairs of blue spots followed by six pairs of red spots. The caterpillar stage frequently strips entire trees of their leaves over wide areas. Older caterpillars do the greatest damage during the last two weeks of June. While oak trees are the most vulnerable species to gypsy moth devastation, caterpillars will feed on up to 500 other types of trees if oak leaves are in short supply.

Detection and Control

Burlap bands can help detect the presence of gypsy moth caterpillars. Using burlap and some twine, an artificial hiding place can be created on the tree trunk. The bands are placed about chest high with the upper portion folded down, leaving the burlap slightly ruffled and loose. Caterpillars congregate between the folds of the burlap and the tree trunk. Trapped caterpillars can either be crushed or swept into buckets of soapy water. Bands are put up after caterpillars hatch and are removed as caterpillars change to moths in July.

Additional Information

For more detailed information about the Gypsy Moth, visit the Trees: Insects and Diseases page or contact Village Forester Kerstin von der Heide at (630) 434-5475.