egg mass

A gypsy moth egg mass is shown on a tree. The gypsy moth is a non-native caterpillar that feeds on more than 300 different trees and shrubs, but oak trees are a definite favorite.

LOGAN — The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is hosting 18 informational open houses for people living in areas scheduled to receive aerial treatments to prevent the spread of the destructive gypsy moth.

These meetings, hosted by ODA plant health staff members, 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.

You can also visit the ODA website to learn more about this pest and to view maps of the treatment areas.

The open houses are being held on the following days:

Tuesday, Feb. 4 (6 – 8 p.m.)

Vinton County

Lake Hope State Park Lodge – 27311 state Route 278, McArthur

Hocking, Athens counties

Wayne National Forest Office – 13700 US 33, Nelsonville

Wednesday, Feb. 5 (6 – 8 p.m.)

Perry County

OSU Extension office – 104 South Columbus, Somerset

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. 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, bees 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 29. 2020. Correspondence 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, Ohio 43068.

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