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Gypsy Moth Aerial Spraying in western Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture announced summer spraying in 18 counties to help control the invasive species

Gypsy Moth Sites
This image displays the counties and sites that are planned for spraying. Photo Credit: The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has been conducting annual aerial spraying to help control Gypsy Moth populations, the agency announced.

They will spray 58 sites in the following 18 counties: Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Crawford, Douglas, Dunn, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Polk, Richland, Rusk, Sawyer, Trempealeau, Vernon, and Washburn.

In May and early June, the planes spray Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk) which, according to DATCP , is a bacterium commonly used by organic vegetable growers and is naturally found in soil. This biological product is used to kill gypsy moth caterpillars. In late June and early July, the Forest Service sprays mating disruptors. This is a pheromone-based product that inhibits the ability of males to find females. Both Btk and mating disruptors are not harmful to humans nor animals.

According to the WI DNR, the Gypsy moth caterpillar has the capability to defoliate whole stands and even forests. It first arrived in Wisconsin in the mid 1970’s and is currently most prevalent in the eastern two-thirds of the state. Read more about the Gypsy moth here.

If you have questions about when and where they are spraying, check out this page where you can sign up for updates on Facebook, Twitter, an email list or call 1-800-642-MOTH (6684), option 1 for more information.

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