April 8, 2016
State will spray in Buxton and Frisco for gypsy moths in April
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will soon start
treating a gypsy moth infestation in the Buxton Woods area. Treatment
of 1,478 acres in Buxton and Frisco is expected to start the week of
April 18 or perhaps later, depending on weather conditions and insect
Two fine-mist applications of the biological pesticide Gypchek will be
made five to 10 days apart using low-flying helicopters. Gypchek is not
harmful to humans, plants or animals, except gypsy moth caterpillars.
A ground treatment of the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis
variety kurstaki involving a 58-acre core area will also be done where
a widespread population, including a defoliating population with all
life stages, was observed. Btk is not harmful to humans, plants or
animals, except small caterpillars.
“Our field monitoring activities last year determined that a
reproducing population of the highly destructive gypsy moth exists on
the island,” said Chris Elder, NCDA&CS Gypsy Moth Program manager.
“Our planned treatment activities are designed to protect trees and
shrubs in the vicinity of Buxton Woods and to preserve the unique
Gypsy moths feed on the leaves of more than 300 different species of
trees and shrubs, predominantly oaks and hardwoods. When areas become
heavily infested, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving
yard trees and entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other
pests. Severe infestations often lead to tree death.
Gypsy moth caterpillars can also pose public health concerns for people
with respiratory problems. In areas with high-density gypsy moth
populations, the caterpillar hairs and droppings may cause severe
NCDA&CS has addressed spot introductions of the gypsy moth across
North Carolina since the 1970s. The treatment will be done in
cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service,
Public hearings were held in September and November in Buxton to
discuss this infestation and receive input from all stakeholders about
For more information, including maps and a description of the proposed
treatment area, go to www.ncagr.com/gypsymoth or contact
NCDA&CS toll free at 800-206-9333. More immediate updates,
including spray start dates, will be posted on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NCAgriculture.
State agency sets meeting on severe gypsy moth infestation in Buxton Woods
State agency plans second meeting to update gypsy moth plan