Weather has prevented today’s scheduled aerial treatment to slow the spread of gypsy moths in Kosciusko, LaPorte, St. Joseph and Whitley counties.
The treatment may occur Friday, May 13, if weather conditions, low wind speeds and no chance of rain are forecast and occur. If weather does not allow treatment on Friday, treatment will be planned for Monday, May 16, or the next day weather allows. Treatment will not be done be done tomorrow because of the forecast.
When the treatment is done, one site each in Kosciusko, LaPorte, St. Joseph and Whitley counties will receive two treatments, spaced four to 10 days apart. If treatment occurs on Friday, May 13, or next Monday, the second treatment will occur mid-week of next week or later, depending on weather.
Detailed maps of the treatment sites are at gypsymoth.IN.gov.
During treatments, people will see a yellow crop duster airplane flying 75-125 feet above treetops, starting at sunrise and continuing through the day as long as the weather and flight schedules permit. With favorable weather, treatments should be completed by late morning or early afternoon.
The airplanes distribute a fine 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 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 areas might choose to take common-sense precautions, including staying inside when the planes are flying, and for about 30 minutes after treatments are completed. 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 Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall and Starke Counties.
For more information, call 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (1-866-663-9684) or call the local county extension office at 1-888-EXT-INFO (1-888-398-4636). For updates via Twitter, follow @INdnrinvasive.
To determine if your property is in the treatment areas and for more information about gypsy moth, see gypsymoth.IN.gov.