Gypsy Moth Aerial Spraying Update

Gypsy moth aerial treatments by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Program took place on Wednesday, May 29. The STS aerial program for 2019 consisted of 49 treatment sites, involving approximately 117,000 acres across 16 counties in western Wisconsin. A progress chart and maps of the treatment sites can be viewed online at gypsymoth.wi.gov.
The treatments are necessary to control the spread of gypsy moth, a destructive and invasive pest that feeds on the leaves of oaks, maples, crabapple, birch and many other species of trees and shrubs.
The first Btk treatments will begin in the previously mentioned counties covering six sites. Most sites may have more than one treatment planned and will be treated again on a later date.
Planes will apply Foray 48B, which is approved for use in certified organic production or food processing by the Organic Materials Review Institute. The insecticide contains Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki or Btk. Btk is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that is poisonous to gypsy moth caterpillars when consumed. Btk breaks down in sunlight within a few days.
Applications can start as early as sunrise and will continue until the day’s plan is complete and as weather conditions allow. Treatment applications require calm winds, high humidity and no precipitation. The planes are loud and will fly low, just above the tree canopy. Spraying does not affect organic certification. The insecticide is not toxic to people, bees, animals, birds or plants. People who have allergies may wish to stay indoors or leave the area until treatments are done. Pets or livestock may be frightened by the noise of the low-flying planes, so keep them indoors or monitor them. Most sites will receive a second application of Btk about 7–10 days after the first application.
For more information: Treatment updates will be available as a recorded message on the toll-free hotline, 800-642-6684, press 1. You also can get instant updates by connecting with us on Twitter, twitter.com/widatcp, or Facebook, facebook.com/widatcp. You can also send an e-mail to [email protected]
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