DCNR to spray Pennsylvania forests against gypsy moths

(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will soon be spraying Pennsylvania forests for gypsy moths.

Gypsy moth, formerly known as gypsy moth, is known to kill trees. The DCNR reports that the caterpillars of the gypsy moth feed on hundreds of species of trees and shrubs, including:

  • Oak
  • Apple
  • Alder
  • aspens
  • Linden
  • Birches
  • Hawthorn
  • Hemlock
  • tamarack (larch)
  • pines
  • Christmas trees
  • willows
  • Witch Hazel

According to the DCNR, the gypsy moth has caused extensive forest damage in Pennsylvania since the 1970s.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced Friday that aerial spraying will soon begin in state forests to control gypsy moth populations this spring.

“Suppression efforts will begin in early May when these insects emerge and start feeding,” Dunn said. “Our cool, wet springs had helped limit the impact of gypsy moth in recent years, but pest populations have climbed again in many areas in 2021 and 2022 to such an extent that aerial spraying is needed to control this invasive pest and protect trees from defoliation.

The DCNR reports that the gypsy moth defoliated 326,124 acres in Pennsylvania in 2021.

Starting in May, the DCNR Bureau of Forestry will oversee the spraying of 220 sites, or 209,838 acres, including 13 state forests, 10 national parks and sections of the Allegheny National Forest in 20 south-central counties. , the center, the center-north, the northwest and the northeast. Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission will also spray 63,000 acres of State Game Lands.

Pennsylvania state parks that need to be sprayed include:

  • Pine Grove Furnace, Cumberland County
  • RB Winter, Union County
  • Chapman, Warren County
  • Sand Bridge, Union County
  • Parker Dam, Clearfield County
  • Elliot, Clearfield County
  • Sizerville, Potter County
  • Ravensburg, Clinton County
  • Little Pine, County Lycoming
  • and Prince Gallitzin, County of Cambria

“In Pennsylvania, these destructive and invasive insects go through cycles where outbreaks typically occur every five to 10 years,” said DCNR Director of Forest Health Dr. Donald A. Eggen. “Populations had declined in 2019 and 2020 thanks to the fungal disease gypsy moth and wet spring weather, but this is no longer the case in 2022.”

One helicopter and five fixed-wing aircraft will carry out the aerial spraying. You can follow the progress of the spraying program on an interactive map here.

According to the DCNR, the Spongy Moth was introduced to North America in 1869 in Medford, Mass., where it was used in a failed silk production experiment. The spongy moth first reached Pennsylvania in Luzerne County in 1932. Now it can be found in every county in Pennsylvania.

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