Aerial treatments to disrupt the mating process of gypsy moths in Hobart originally scheduled for June 21 and 22 are now planned for June 18. Treatments in other states are ahead of schedule and the treatment aircraft can move to Indiana sooner than planned. The treatment plan is still subject to weather conditions in the other states which may still delay the treatment on June 18.
Treatment will begin in early morning and continue until completed or when weather conditions stop treatment. Should weather prevent or stop treatment on June 18, the treatment will start or continue on June 21.
Additional press releases will be made to update the treatment plan. You may also find information on the DNR entomology website, gypsymoth.in.gov. The site also includes maps of the areas to be treated and other pertinent information.
The mating-disruption technique has been used in other states and in Indiana since 1999. The mating-disruption process consists of dropping small plastic flakes from an airplane. One or more treatment airplanes will be assigned to treat the sites. Residents, however, may see other airplanes. An observation plane is used to fly above the treatment planes for safety.
The green flakes carry the scent of the female gypsy moth. The scent of the female is vital in the mating process because female moths cannot fly and must use scent to attract their mates. The male moths, which can fly, use the scent to find the females. The tiny flakes, each about the size of a hyphen on a typewriter, falsely indicate an abundance of females in the area. The male moths recognize the scent on the flakes and look for a mate in the wrong place. The males, being misled, fail to mate, and no offspring are produced to eat the tree leaves the next year.
While the application poses no health threat to people, pets, livestock or other animals, individuals in the treatment areas may notice the small green flakes on their vehicles. Washing vehicles promptly with soap and water will remove the flakes.
Anyone with questions about this project may call toll free at 1-877-INFO DNR (463-6367).
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