June 1, 2018
Agriculture Department to Treat Gypsy Moth Infestation
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will soon start
treating for gypsy moth infestations in several areas across North
Carolina. Treatment will start around June 2 through June 20. The areas
to be treated include:
- Buxton, on Hatteras Island in Dare County.
- Stovall, in northern Granville and Vance counties.
- North of Roxboro in Person County.
A large area in Surry, Stokes and Rockingham counties, including Mount
Airy, Pilot Mountain, Danbury, Walnut Cove, Madison, Mayodan, and Eden.
- Baldwin Gap, along the line between Watauga and Ashe counties, northwest of Boone.
“We have a total of 11 blocks and 121,638 acres to treat,” said Chis
Elder, NCDA&CS Gypsy Moth program manager. “We plan to start around
June 2 in Hatteras and spread across to June 18 in Watauga, adding a
couple of days to cover possible delays.”
Prior to normal gypsy moth mating periods, low-altitude fixed-wing
aircraft will disperse SPLAT Gypsy Moth-Organic infused with the
naturally occurring gypsy moth pheromone.
The presence of the pheromone makes male gypsy moths unable to follow
the natural pheromone scent trails released by the females.This
decreases mating success and reduces the gypsy moth population. The
pheromone is not harmful to humans, animals or plants, and it will not
affect other insect species.
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 February and March to discuss these
infestations and receive input from residents about treatment options.
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.