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State sets Fox Valley battle plan against gypsy moths

A gypsy moth caterpillar is considered be serious forest urban landscape pest capable eating leaves 500 species trees can consume

A gypsy moth caterpillar is considered to be a serious forest and urban landscape pest, capable of eating the leaves of 500 species of trees, and can consume up to 11 square feet of foliage in its lifetime. | File photo

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Updated: April 18, 2013 6:33AM



Two area forums are planned in the next two weeks, where the state will explain its plans to treat the region for the destructive gypsy moth.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will hold presentations on Monday in Montgomery and on March 27 in Lisle. Both will offer information on treatment plans for the area to control large populations of gypsy moth, a non-native caterpillar that has established itself in Illinois and has a reputation for defoliating trees and shrubs.

The Montgomery presentation will cover plans to treat a 12-acre site near Montgomery and a plan for 1,066 acres in Oswego. The presentation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Oswegoland Park District Civic Center, 5 Ashlawn Avenue.

The Lisle presentation will cover plans to treat 33,022 acres in Naperville and 5,079 acres at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia. The Lisle presentation will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 27 at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle.

Infested sites will be treated with a bacteria that kills the gypsy moth in its larvae stage, or a gypsy moth-specific pheromone that acts as a sexual attractant and prevents male gypsy moths from breeding. Treatments would be made by helicopter in mid-to late-May and by airplane in late June.

State officials say large populations of gypsy moths can strip plants bare and leave them vulnerable to further insect attacks or disease. It feeds on hundreds of species of trees and shrubs.

Other presentations will be held in Lemont and Wheaton. For information, visit www.agr.state.il.us.



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