Public meetings on gypsy moth treatments set
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is seeking input from residents in Currituck, Dare, Granville and Warren counties concerning treatment options for the non-native, highly destructive gypsy moth.
Field monitoring activities conducted by NCDA&CS in 2009 determined that reproducing populations of the gypsy moth exist in these counties and represent a threat to hardwoods. Residents in or near the proposed treatment areas have been sent notices by mail.
The following meetings are scheduled:
- Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m. at the Warren County Memorial Library, 119 South Front St., Warrenton. This meeting is for the proposed treatment area near or associated with the Macon area in Warren County.
- Thursday, Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m. at the Hammocks Beach State Park Visitors Center, 1572 Hammocks Beach Road, Swansboro. This meeting is for the proposed treatment area near or associated with Hammocks Beach State Park in Onslow County.
- Tuesday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. in the Assembly Room at the Caswell County Center, 126 Court Square, Yanceyville. This meeting is for the proposed treatment area near or associated with the Ringgold and Yanceyville areas in Caswell County.
- Thursday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. at the Wayne Center, 208 West Chestnut St., Goldsboro. This meeting is for the proposed treatment area near or associated with the Sleepy Creek area in Wayne County.
NCDA&CS has addressed spot introductions of the gypsy moth in several areas across North Carolina since the 1970s. The department is working with eight other states through the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation Inc. and with other state and federal agencies to reduce the expansion of the gypsy moth into uninfested areas. Gypsy moths feed on the leaves of hundreds of plant species, predominantly hardwood trees. In heavily infested areas, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other pests.
Gypsy moths can also be a nuisance to the general public. Caterpillars may migrate in search of food, sometimes entering houses and ending up in swimming pools. Some people can have allergic reactions to the caterpillars’ tiny hairs.
Options for dealing with gypsy moth infestations include aerial spraying of biological pesticides and aerial applications of products to disrupt gypsy moth mating.
Trapping grids are used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.