INDIANAPOLIS — The Department of Natural Resources will host several virtual public meetings this month to discuss proposed spongy moth treatments. Spongy moth is an invasive insect that can cause tree defoliation and kill trees.
Areas for proposed treatment include Beaver Dam in Kosciukso and Fulton Counties and Etna Green.
At the meetings, personnel from the DNR Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology will discuss the spongy life cycle, problems associated with infestations of the insect, available management methods and proposed treatment options. The representatives will also welcome questions and take comments.
Virtual meetings will be held over Zoom on the following dates and times:
• Noon Thursday, Jan. 26
• 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26
• Noon Monday, Jan. 30
• 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30.
The meeting may be joined by going to www.zoom.us. The meeting ID is 886 8673 1356 or residents ,ay join by phone at (312) 626-6799 (fees may apply).
While open to anyone, the meetings will be geared toward residents of and near the areas listed above, which have been identified as having spongy moth infestations and have proposed treatment areas. All meetings will cover the same information. There is no need to attend more than one.
Maps of the proposed treatment areas can be viewed on IN.gov/spongymoth by clicking on the link “2023 Indiana Spongy Moth Treatment Program” at the top of the page.
Written comments may be submitted to Department of Natural Resources, Attn: Spongy Moth, Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology, 402 W. Washington St., Room W290, Indianapolis, IN 46204; or emailed to [email protected]. Comments may be submitted until 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 3.
Options for managing spongy moth that will be discussed in detail during the meetings include:
• Taking no action
• Using mass trapping, which involves setting a large number of traps in a concentrated area to capture male spongy moths before they have a chance to locate and mate with females, or
• Using biological control, which involves the aerial application of the naturally occurring bacteria Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki), which eliminates spongy moth larvae, or
• Using mating disruption, which involves the aerial application of the spongy mating pheromone (or scent) that confuses male spongy moths and prevents mating, or
• Using integrated pest management, which involves the combined use of the above options.
Those unable to attend one of the public meetings may view the meeting’s PowerPoint presentation, a series of question-and-answer documents, and maps of the exact areas of concern and further information at on.IN.gov/spongymoth. The presentation will also be available for viewing on YouTube on the DNR channel, youtube.com/idnrvidoes, under the Webinars playlist.
To determine if your property is in the treatment areas and for more information about spongy moth, see on.IN.gov/spongymoth.
For more information, call (866) 663-9684 or call the local county extension office at (888) 398-4636.