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Gypsy Moth Treatment Open Houses in 4 Counties
Ohio Ag Connection - 02/12/2020

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 for Hardin, Knox, Morrow and Union Counties on the following days:

Feb. 19, 6-8 p.m., Morrow and Knox counties, Village of Sparta -- 6605 State Route 229, Sparta

Reb. 24, 6-8 p.m., Hardin, Union, Marion counties, Hale Township Hall -- 206 South West St., Mt.Victory

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 Feb. 29. 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, OH 43068.

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