Aerial treatments of spongy moths commence in Marshall, LaPorte counties

Photo Courtesy: Indiana DNR

MARSHALL, LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. -- The Indiana DNR’s divisions of Forestry and Entomology and Plant Pathology are starting aerial treatments of spongy moth populations in selected areas of Marshall, Noble and LaPorte counties Thursday morning.

The spongy moth is one of North America’s most damaging invasive species, having eaten the leaves of thousands of acres of forests.

Aerial treatment will be conducted by a yellow airplane flying 75-125 feet above treetops. The plane will spray the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, or Btk, to kill the moths after ingestion.

Though Btk has been used by gardeners for several years and is harmless to humans and animals, community members may want to stay inside while the treatments are being conducted.

For more information on the bacteria, you can call 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (663-9684) or your county’s extension office.

Treatment began shortly after sunrise but could be delayed until later in the morning or until the next day depending on inclement weather conditions. Spraying is set to last for an hour.

Updates on the process will be posted on Twitter @INdnrinvasive as well as through news releases on the DNR website.

To find out if your property is one of the treatment areas or to view a map, you can visit the Indiana DNR’s gypsy moth information page.

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