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"Aerial treatments to disrupt the mating process of gypsy moths at a site in Allen and Whitley counties may occur on Wednesday, which would be a day earlier than previously planned."

Allen, Whitley to get moth flakes meant to keep a lid on mating

Statement as issued Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Aerial treatments to disrupt the mating process of gypsy moths at a site in Allen and Whitley counties may occur on Wednesday, which would be a day earlier than previously planned.

Actual treatment dates depend on weather and treatment operations in Ohio. The treatment planes start in Ohio then move to Indiana.

Weather permitting, it is anticipated that an Ohio treatment will finish Wednesday morning and the aircraft will treat the site on the Allen-Whitley county line in the afternoon. The site is labeled on treatment maps as Arcola.

The treatment of a site in West Lafayette (Purdue) and a site in Westville are still on schedule for Thursday morning.

Should weather delay the Wednesday treatment of Arcola, it will be treated on Thursday.

As the treatment process occurs, additional updates will be made by news releases and on the DNR entomology web page, gypsymoth.IN.gov. Maps of the areas to be treated and other pertinent information can also be found at that site.

Treatments involve three sites, one straddling the Allen and Whitley county line, and one each in Porter and Tippecanoe counties.

Successful application of the treatment depends on the absence of high wind or rain. The treatment will start in the early morning and continue until completed or stopped by weather

One or more low-flying airplanes will treat the sites with small flakes. The application poses no health threat to people, pets, livestock or other animals. Washing vehicles promptly with soap and water removes the flake.

The mating-disruption technique has been used in other states and in Indiana since 1999. It has proved effective where there is very low-level infestation and female moths are hard to find. The gypsy moth, which now has a foothold in some counties in northeast Indiana, was brought to this country from Europe more than 100 years ago, according to Phil Marshall, state entomologist.

"The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has successfully held back introductions of this pest throughout Indiana for more than 25 years,” Marshall said. “Now that the gypsy moth is within Indiana's borders, however, residents can expect to see more of this pest throughout the next decade."

The gypsy moth is the most serious forest and urban landscape pest in the United States. It now occupies the northeastern part of the country, a portion of northeast Ohio, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the eastern portion of Wisconsin.

The gypsy moth is capable of defoliating 3 million acres of forest a year, which is equivalent to about 70 percent of Indiana's forested acreage. About 80 percent of the state’s forest trees are susceptible to gypsy moth damage. The urban environment is also home to a variety of plants favorable to gypsy moths. The current threat in northern Indiana comes from the natural spread of the infestation.

Drastic changes in ecological habitat due to the loss of foliage may lead to the loss of other plants and wildlife. Death to valuable timber may hurt the timber and other related industries.

Anyone with questions about this project may call toll free at 1-866 NO EXOTIC (1-866-663-9684)

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