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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2007


Contact: Matt Andresen
NCDA&CS Gypsy Moth Program Manager
(919) 733-6930, ext. 247 or (800) 206-9333

NCDA&CS to treat gypsy moth infestations in five counties

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will soon treat five localized gypsy moth infestations in Currituck, Gates, Granville, Caswell and Rockingham counties in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation Inc. Treatments are anticipated to begin on June 4 and conclude on June 6 or 7, depending on weather and location.

Field monitoring activities conducted by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services last year determined that reproducing populations of the highly destructive gypsy moth exist in these counties and represent a threat to hardwoods.

Pheromone flakes will be applied using low-altitude fixed wing aircraft. The flakes adhere to surfaces and slowly release the female pheromone over the course of several months, disrupting the male mating habits. The flakes are nontoxic and not harmful to plants, other insects, animals or humans.

Treatment areas are as follows:

  • The Brosville spray block is located about two miles west of U.S. 29 along the Rockingham/Caswell county line. N.C. 700 runs along the northern portion of the spray block. Wolf Island Creek runs through the spray block, which is dominated by birch, willow, poplar and ironwood.

  • The Ruffin spray block is located between Lawsonville and Casville at the Rockingham/Caswell county line, along U.S. 158. Hogan's Creek and its wide flood plain run through this block. Predominate trees are birch, beech, poplar, willow, sycamore, oak, hickory and pine.

  • The Knotts Island spray block consists of 600 acres in Carova, which is in Currituck County. Wild Horse Estates is located on the northern end of the block. The Carova Beach Fire Department is north of the block. The east side of the block runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. The predominant trees are oaks, pines, wax myrtles and persimmons.

  • The Berea spray block consists of 933 acres located in Granville County. U.S. 158 runs through the bottom one-third of the block. The Granville County Department of Transportation station is located in the northeast corner of the block at the intersection of Joe Pruitt and Cornwall roads. The predominant trees are oak, sweetgum and other hardwoods.

  • The Corapeake spray block consists of 1,034 acres in the northeastern corner of Gates County. The block's northern edge runs along the state line. The block is east of Desert and Daniels roads. The block lies within the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge; the majority is forested and swampy. The predominant trees are gum, oak, pine, maple, willow, holly and poplar.

Gypsy moths feed on the leaves of more than 300 different species of trees and shrubs, predominantly hardwoods. When areas become heavily infested, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other pests. Gypsy moth caterpillars can also pose public health concerns for people with respiratory problems. In high-density gypsy moth populations, the 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 department is working with eight other states through the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation Inc. and other state and federal agencies to reduce the expansion of the gypsy moth into unaffected areas of the state.

Public hearings were held prior to the scheduled aerial treatments to receive input from residents.

For more information, including maps of the proposed treatment areas, go to www.ncagr.com/plantind/plant/entomol/gmintro.htm or contact NCDA&CS toll free at (800) 206-9333.

-30-1,2

 

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047