Written by Jack McCarthy
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:00
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is holding four open houses to explain its plans this year to treat parts of northern Illinois for the destructive gypsy moth.
The first was held this week in Montgomery and future sessions are planned for March 26 in Lemont, March 27 in Lisle and April 2 in Wheaton.
The Montgomery open house covered plans to treat a 12-acre site in the Kane County community as well as 1,066 acres of Oswego in Kendall County.
The open house March 26 in Lemont will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Midwest Golf House Complex, 11855 Archer Ave. It will review plans to treat an 8,380-acre site in Will County north of Joliet.
Treatments impacting 33,022 acres in Naperville and 5,079 acres in FermiLab will be the topic of the final two presentations.
The Lisle open house March 27 will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53. The DuPage County Forest Preserve Headquarters, 3S580 Naperville Rd. in Wheaton, will host the April 2 open house from 5 to 7 p.m.
Treatments also are planned for 8,872 acres in Jo Daviess County and 6,116 acres in Winnebago.
The gypsy moth is a non-native pest that feasts on more than 250 species of trees and shrubs, but its preferred food source is oak leaves.
Large populations are capable of stripping plants bare, leaving them vulnerable to secondary insect and disease attacks. Severe defoliation also can cause tree death.
Infested sites will be treated with applications of either BtK (Bacillus thuringiensis var. Kurstaki), a naturally-occurring bacteria used by gardeners as an environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides, or mating disruption (MD), a gypsy moth-specific pheromone that acts as a sexual attractant and prevents male gypsy moths from breeding.
The BtK will be applied by helicopter in mid-May, with a second application being done within the following two weeks. Airplanes will apply the pheromone flakes in late June
Maps of the treatment sites are posted on the department's website at www.agr.state.il.us.
Simply click on the Gypsy Moth banner on the right side of the homepage and then select "Are You In a Gypsy Moth Treatment Area This Year?" to access maps that are searchable by both town and zip code.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:34