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Gypsy moth abatement

Nothing will drive viewers to a new blog like gypsy moth abatement!  Did anyone else get the gypsy moth abatement report in the mail yesterday and can anyone explain to me why pheromone treatment is fine for 99 percent of the treatment areas, yet in a small area of East Hillside they’ll be spraying insecticide?!? 

Here’s a link to a pdf version they sent.

Eric Dubnicka

11 Comments

George

about 9 years ago

I believe the flier said that those blocks showed higher presence of the moths so needed stronger efforts.

Btk isn't a general purpose chemical insecticide.  Those would be better labeled "living creature-icide" cause they are harmful to most things.  Btk is a very specific biological insecticide, more accurately a caterpillar-icide.  So no danger to people or pets.  It might be bad for the other butterflies and moths in the area though.

pebble

about 9 years ago

My understanding is that the actually female caterpillars were found near there as opposed to male moths found along the north shore that blew in from the U.P. The spray is an organic compound utilized on agricultural cabbage crops that breaks down the digestive track of all active caterpillars at the time of spraying. The pheromone concept basically confuses the males search for the females. I heard the Ag department will have some community forums/meetings.Hopefully some butterfly gardens can be protected at the time of spraying.

edub

about 9 years ago

Thanks George and pebble, I posted this to bring it to the attention of all.  Had I not received or opened the mailer I wouldn't have had a clue this is going on, or that there will be community meetings regarding it.

RightElbow

about 9 years ago

When I was a student I worked a couple of summers as a gypsy moth trapper - actually a fabulous job, if anyone's looking for seasonal work and likes being outside. I got the mailer too - the Bt application area is relatively small, so shouldn't be a problem for native butterflies and moths. For native critters breeding in Duluth, they'd be spread out over habitat throughout the city and losing a few caterpillars in Central Hillside won't make a difference overall. The gypsy moths (presumably) are localized in the area, and the application could get all or most of them.

Gary

about 9 years ago

Hopefully there are no caterpillars posing as humans in the treatment area.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

Took me a moment or two to recall why the initials btk made me squirmy. What I was recalling has nothing to do with insecticides.

Judy Gibbs

about 9 years ago

Hi folks. If you got the flyer, you'll see a list of open houses here in town in later March. I urge you all to go. Btk isn't an insecticide, it is a naturally occurring bacteria. It is used in organic gardening.

Last summer, I found the first caterpillar (ever!) in the state, and then female moths and egg masses were found in the hillside area.

The Btk will be applied twice in late May and early June, and will hopefully be eaten by any other caterpillars that might be around. Then, later in the summer, when the moths emerge from their pupal cases, a synthetic pheromone will be sprayed to confuse the males and hopefully disrupt any mating.

Next summer, traps will again be put out to see how the treatments worked. Last year they did this over my house, north of Duluth in Duluth Township.

Linda Papison

about 9 years ago

I live near Chester Creek and have honey bees next door and down the block.  Will there be any ill effects to those hives?

RS

about 9 years ago

Edgeways, doesn't Brad Chilldress look like the BTK killer?  Double creepy!

Dave P

about 9 years ago

Will this affect Army Worms?! If so, who do I have to pay for a bombing run further east (toward my neighborhood) on the days they spray?

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

Linda, Btk will not harm bees.

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