FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2008
Matt Andresen, manager
NCDA&CS Gypsy Moth Program
(919) 733-6931, ext. 247
NCDA&CS to treat gypsy moth infestation in Warren
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will soon treat a gypsy moth infestation in Warren County. The treatment will be conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation Inc.
The treatment is slated for April 21, depending on weather conditions and insect development.
A low-altitude fixed-wing aircraft will make a single spray application of the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, or Bt(k). Bt(k) is a naturally occurring bacteria harmful only to caterpillars that consume it. Bt(k) is not hazardous to humans or animals.
The treatment block consists of 502 acres north of Norlina and one mile south of the Virginia state line.U.S. Highway 1/401 travels in a southerly direction through the block on the southeastern side, and Mac Powell Road runs through the center of the block. The block has several fields, pastures and ponds. The town of Wise is located about three miles south of the block.
Gypsy moths feed on the leaves of more than 300 species of trees and shrubs, predominantly hardwoods. When areas become 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. 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 with other state and federal agencies to reduce the expansion of the gypsy moth into uninfested areas of the state.
A public hearing was held in February to receive input from landowners inside and within about 3,300 feet of the treatment block.
For more information, including maps an a description of the proposed treatment area, go to www.ncagr.com/plantindustry/plant/entomology/GM.htm or contact NCDA&CS toll free at (800) 206-9333.