If you saw low flying bright yellow planes recently and wondered what they were doing, you’re not alone.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture did a fly-by in Naperville to disperse Pheromones to help halt the spread of the invasive gypsy moth.
The yellow crop dusting planes were used to disperse six grams of pheromone flakes per acre.
The flakes are designed to make the area smell like female moths to confuse the males during the mating process.
In the plane’s hopper, the pheromones were mixed with glue, similar to the one used for Post-Its, so they would stick better to foliage.
“The moths are very sensitive to this pheromone. It doesn’t take a lot to make it effective,” said Scott Schirmer, the Plant and Pesticide Specialist Supervisor for the Department of Agriculture. “So the amount that we apply is not very much. There is a chance that people may see it on windshields, but you can just pick it off with a paper towel or wipe them off.”
The pheromones are harmless to humans.
For more information on the moths or the treatment plan visit the Department of Agriculture’s website at agr.state.il.us.
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