(REYNOLDSBURG, OH) -- The Ohio Department of Agriculture rescheduled an aerial treatment designed to eradicate the gypsy moth in Hamilton County last weekend in order to avoid interfering with Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon.
Weather permitting, the treatment will now occur on May 10 or May 11, most likely during the early morning hours when conditions are ideal.
The timing of the treatment coincides with the insect's first and second instar caterpillar stages. The process will involve the use of a low flying aircraft just above the tree tops. High humidity, low temperature, and low wind are necessary conditions for successful application.
The department will use Dimilin, a chemical insecticide that works by preventing the formation of chitin in the outer skin of gypsy moth larvae. This chemical is not toxic to humans, pets, birds or fish.
Pre-recorded daily updates on planned treatment blocks will be available to citizens by calling (614) 387-0907 or (800) 282-1955 ext. 37, after 5 p.m. Maps of application areas can be viewed at www.ohioagriculture.gov by clicking on "gypsy moth updates."
The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that has been advancing into Ohio from Pennsylvania and Michigan over the last several years. In its caterpillar stage, it feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different 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.
To date, 49 of Ohio's 88 counties have established gypsy moth populations.