COLUMBUS (WCMH) – If you happen to spot a low-flying yellow airplane over the next few days, don’t worry. The Ohio Department of Agriculture is spraying for gypsy moths.
Aerial treatments designed to disrupt gypsy moth mating began Wednesday on more than 32,000 acres of land in fifteen counties across the state.
Planes are flying 100-200 feet above treetops to apply the treatment throughout the day. Treatments begin Wednesday in central and southern Ohio. Treatments continue Thursday in central and northern Ohio.
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.