Gypsy moth meetings planned for January
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will hold a series of public hearings seeking input from residents and other interested parties concerning planned treatment activities for the non-native, highly destructive gypsy moth.
The meetings will cover the following counties: Alleghany, Caswell, Dare, Jones, Nash, Onslow, Pender, Rockingham, Surry and Wilkes counties
Following are confirmed meeting dates and locations:
Jan. 5 at the Nash County Agricultural Center, 1006 Eastern Ave. in Nashville;
Jan. 7 at the Glade Creek Volunteer Fire Department, 6374 Glade Velley Road in Ennice. An alternate date in the event of inclement weather is Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the same location.
Jan. 20 at the Caswell County Extension Office, 126 Court Square in Yanceyville;
Jan. 21 at the Eden Public Library, 598 S. Pierce St. in Eden.
All meetings begin at 7 p.m. Additional meetings are being planned to discuss treatments for areas in or around Dare, Jones, Onslow and Pender counties and will be announced at a later date.
Details on proposed treatment sites can be found at www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/Plant/entomology/ProposedGypsyMothTreatments.htm
In early spring, gypsy moth caterpillars 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 falling into 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 or gypsy moth mating disruptants. Trapping grids will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments.
The department has addressed spot introductions of the gypsy moth in several areas across North Carolina since the 1970s. The department is working with nine other states through the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation and with other state and federal agencies to reduce the expansion of the gypsy moth into uninfested areas of the country.