Aerial treatments to slow the spread of gypsy moth are planned to begin Thursday, May 17, in Fulton County, weather permitting.
Should weather not allow for treatment on May 17, treatment will occur on the next day with favorable weather. Low wind speeds, which typically occur just after sunrise, and no rain for at least six hours after treatment are minimum requirements for optimal atmospheric conditions.
It is anticipated that treatment will start around 6:15 a.m. ET, but timing will depend on weather conditions. During treatments, people may see a yellow airplane flying 75-125 feet above the treetops.
If delays occur, they will be announced on the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology Twitter account, Tweets by @INdnrinvasive. If the treatment is canceled, it will be announced on Twitter and via news release.
Detailed maps of the treatment site can be found at gypsymoth.IN.gov. The site name for this year’s larval treatment is Tiosa Btk 2018.
The airplane distributes a spray containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, often referred to as Btk, into the treetops of infested areas where gypsy moth caterpillars feed. Btk occurs naturally in the soil. Btk kills gypsy moth caterpillars as they feed on tree leaves by disrupting their digestive systems.
Btk has been used for decades by organic gardeners and has an excellent safety record with people and animals. People who live or work near the treatment area might choose to take common-sense precautions, including staying inside when planes are flying and for about 30 minutes after treatments are complete. This gives the material time to settle out of the air and adhere to treetops.
Additional treatments to slow the spread of gypsy moth are planned for mid- to late June in Marshall County.
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).
To determine if your property is in the treatment area and for more information about gypsy moth, see gypsymoth.IN.gov.
SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Natural Resources