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Gypsy moth treatments around April 11 in Brunswick County, N.C.

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Staff Writer | April 5, 2017
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will soon start treating a gypsy moth infestation on 774 acres near Bolivia in Brunswick County.
Gypsy moth
Pest   Field monitoring activities in North Carolina
Treatment is expected to start on or around April 11, depending on weather conditions and insect development, and continue into early May.

Two fine-mist applications of the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis variety kurstaki (Btk) will be made five to 10 days apart using a low-flying helicopter.

Btk is not harmful to humans, plants or animals, except small caterpillars.

Field monitoring activities conducted by NCDA&CS over the last few years determined that a reproducing population of the highly destructive gypsy moth exists at a location near Bolivia in Brunswick County.

Treatment activities will protect yard trees, shrubs, and hardwood forests at this site.

River Swamp runs through the middle of the proposed treatment area, which is bordered on the west side by Gilbert Road S.E. at the intersection with Goose Marsh Road.

Gypsy moths feed on the leaves of more than 300 different species of trees and shrubs, predominantly oaks and hardwoods.

When an area becomes heavily infested, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving yard trees and entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other pests.

Severe infestations often lead to tree death. Gypsy moth caterpillars can also pose public health concerns for people with respiratory problems. Caterpillar hairs and droppings may cause severe allergic reactions.

NCDA&CS has addressed spot introductions of the gypsy moth across North Carolina since the 1970s.

The treatment will be done in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation, Inc.