COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Beginning Thursday, low-flying planes will begin aerial spraying for gypsy moths.
Portions of Columbus, Delaware, Dublin, Gahanna, Granville, Marion, Minerva Park, Newark, Upper Arlington, and Westerville will be treated. Parts of Delaware, Franklin, Hardin, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Union, Vinton, and Washington counties will also receive treatments.
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, treatments begin in central and southern Ohio on June 18. Airplanes will fly around 100 feet above the treetops to apply treatment throughout the day.
In all counties receiving treatment, the department will use a single application of the product SPLAT GM-O. This product does not kill the moth, but it disrupts the mating process by confusing the male as it searches for a female mate. SPLAT GM-O is an organic product and is not harmful to birds, plants, pets or humans.
The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs and is especially fond of oak. A healthy tree can usually withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies. To date, 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties have established gypsy moth populations.