Several local counties to begin spraying for gypsy moths

(WTVG) - If you live in Auglaize, Cuyahoga, Fulton, Hancock, Lorain, Lucas, Paulding, Seneca, and Williams counties, be on alert. The Ohio Department of Agriculture will soon begin aerial treatments designed to control the gypsy moth population in Ohio.

Those treatments are set to begin later this week and will be administered using a low-flying aircraft that flies just above tree tops. High humidity, low temperature and minimal wind are crucial for a successful application. Treatment will most likely take place during early morning hours.

The department will use a naturally occurring bacterium found in the soil that interferes with the caterpillars’ feeding cycles and a virus that affects only the gypsy moth caterpillars and has no effect on beneficial insects. These treatments are not harmful to humans, pets, birds or fish.

More specific information about the areas being treated and the schedule of those treatments is available at the Department of Agriculture website or by calling 614-387-0907 or 614-728-6400.

According to the Department that schedule is subject to change without notice and could be affected by this week's expected rainfall.

Gypsy moths are invasive insects that defoliate over 300 species of trees and shrubs. In its caterpillar stage, the moth feeds on the leaves of 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. In Ohio, 51 counties are currently under gypsy moth quarantine regulations.