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01.28.19 State Offers Gypsy Moth Open Houses in Central and Eastern Ohio

Areas across Ohio are slated to receive gypsy moth aerial treatments by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in early spring to slow the spread of the destructive insect. Department staff members will host several open houses in treatment areas that will offer attendees the opportunity to speak directly with those who work with the program, learn about the pest and view maps of treatment areas.
Citizens can also visit the Gypsy Moth webpage to learn more about this pest and to view maps of the treatment areas. Those with questions who live near a treatment area in central and eastern Ohio will have the opportunity to talk with experts at the following open houses:
Hocking and Perry County – Feb. 4, 6 – 8 p.m., Hocking Soil and Water Conservation Office – Conference Room, 148 North Homer Avenue (Fairgrounds), Logan, Ohio
Licking County – Feb. 5, 6 – 8 p.m., Village of Granville Office, 141 East Broad St., Granville, Ohio
Franklin County – Feb. 5, 6 – 8 p.m., Columbus Park of Roses – Whetstone Shelterhouse, 3923 North High St., Columbus, OH
Morgan, Perry and Muskingum Counties – Feb. 6, 6 – 8 p.m., OSU Extension Office – Morgan County, 155 East Main St. (Room 325), McConnelsville, OH
Licking County – Feb. 6, 6 – 8 p.m., OSU Extension Office, 771 East Main St., Newark, Ohio
Muskingum, Guernsey and Noble Counties – Feb. 7, 6 – 8 p.m., Cumberland Volunteer Department, 444 West Main St., Cumberland, OH
Marion County – Feb. 7, 6 – 8 p.m., Marion Municipal Airport, Terminal Building, 1530 Pole Lane Rd., Marion, Ohio
Hardin, Union and Marion Counties – Feb. 25, 6 – 8 p.m., Hale Township Hall, 206 South West St., Mt. Victory, Ohio 
Gypsy moths are invasive insects that attack more than 300 different types of trees and shrubs, with oak being the preferred species. In its caterpillar stage, the moth feeds heavily on the leaves of trees and shrubs limiting their ability to photosynthesize. A healthy tree can usually withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies.
Currently in Ohio there are 51 counties under gypsy moth quarantine, limiting the movement of regulated articles out of those counties.
To combat this problem, the department uses different types of treatment strategies to slow the spread of gypsy moth in Ohio. Officials have three programs aimed to manage the pest, including:

  • The “Suppression” program, which occurs in counties where the pest is already established. Landowner(s) must voluntarily request treatment to help suppress populations.
  • The “Slow-the-Spread” program, which occurs in counties in front of the larger, advancing gypsy moth population. In these counties, officials work to detect and control isolated populations in an effort to slow the overall advancing gypsy moth infestation.
  • The “Eradication” program, which occurs in non-infested areas where an isolated population occurs, often due to the movement of infested firewood or outdoor equipment. Department officials use control treatments aimed at eradication of gypsy moth from these areas.

Treatments used for gypsy moth control in this planned treatment area include:

  • Larvacide (Btk), a compound derived from a naturally occurring bacteria found in the soil that is effective in gypsy larvae control.
  • Mating disruption product, flakes or liquid that disrupt the male moth’s ability to locate females.

The department uses different types of treatments, depending on the location and extent of infestation. All treatments require an aerial application. Larvacide treatments will take place in early to mid-May, and mating disruption treatments will begin in mid-June. The treatments are not toxic to humans, pets, birds or fish.
Citizens who cannot attend the open houses and would like to provide official comment about the proposed treatment blocks should send correspondence to the department by February 28. Letters can be sent by e-mail to plantpest@agri.ohio.gov or by hard copy to the attention of the Gypsy Moth Program, Plant Health Division – Building 23, Ohio Department of Agriculture, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.