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State conducts gypsy moth spraying in area counties

REYNOLDSBURG — The Ohio Department of Agriculture sprayed materials to disrupt gypsy moth mating this week in seven northwestern Ohio counties, including Allen, Hancock, Hardin and Wyandot.
The aerial treatments are designed to disrupt gypsy moth mating on 13,275 acres in the seven-county area.
The department’s “slow the spread” program focuses on “monitoring, detecting, and reducing isolated populations to slow the gypsy moth’s movement across the state through treatments,” according to the agency.
Planes flew 100 to 200 feet above treetops to apply the treatment.
Treatments began in southeastern Ohio on Monday and were completed by Wednesday throughout the state.
In all counties receiving treatment, the department used a single application of the product Disrupt II.
The product does not kill the moth, but disrupts the mating process by confusing the male as it searches for a female mate. Disrupt II is not harmful to birds, plants, pets or humans, according to the agency.
The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs and is especially fond of oak.
A healthy tree can usually withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies.
To date, 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties have established gypsy moth populations.
More information on the gypsy moth, including maps of the treatment areas and videos of the mating disruption process, are available at www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/plant/gypsy.

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