Fighting Off Gypsy Moths

If you see yellow planes flying overhead in DuPage County, another local pest may have invaded your area.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is using the planes to combat the swelling population of the European Gypsy Moth by spreading a non-chemical insecticide designed to make breeding difficult for the insects.

The Gypsy Moth is a non-native species that infests and damages over 450 species of plants. when populations are high enough, they can defoliate entire forests.

The Department of Agriculture actively monitors the gypsy moth’s population and spreads pheromones annually where needed.

This year, the airplanes will dust nine different sites with pheromone flakes, each about the size of a grain of sand.

State agriculture officials stressed that the treatment is not harmful to humans or animals and will be monitoring the operation from the ground.

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