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Gypsy Moth Aerial Treatments Set to Resume
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/18/2018

Residents of six western and central Wisconsin counties can soon expect to see and hear loud, low-flying planes as early as sunrise. The planes will be treating for invasive gypsy moth caterpillars, which may defoliate many kinds of trees, causing stress and potentially tree death.

From late June to mid-July, yellow planes contracted by the U.S. Forest Service in a joint project with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, will be applying an organic, biodegradable mating disruptor to 11 sites in 6 counties in the western third of the state. Unlike the earlier spring treatments that targeted gypsy moth caterpillars, the mating disruptor targets adult male moths.

The treatments are planned in Barron, Buffalo, Chippewa, Crawford, Dunn and Vernon Counties over the next four weeks

The gypsy moth has a wide range of harmful effects on local communities. Removing dead trees can cost from several hundred to over one thousand dollars. Loss of mature trees decreases property value. During spring and summer, caterpillars shed bristly skins multiple times while growing. Airborne bristles from the cast skins may irritate people's eyes, skin, and respiratory system, and contact with the bristles may cause a rash.

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