State to spray two midstate counties for invasive species

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 16, 2015 3:40 AM

Photo by US Fish and Wildlife

A gypsy moth caterpillar.

(Harrisburg) -- The state will spray in two midstate counties this spring in the hope of controlling one of the most damaging invasive species in the US.

The gypsy moth can wreak havoc on aspen and oak trees especially, and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is planning to spray in Northumberland and Schuylkill counties.

Terry Brady with DCNR says homeowners should hope for a cold, wet spring.

"It doesn't retard the growth of the gypsy moth, but it actually encourages the growth of a fungus that attacks the gypsy moth and causes their populations to collapse," he adds.

Brady says the department will spray a total of 27,000 acres in six counties this spring.

"So it wasn't bad last spring, it's getting worse, and certainly probably next spring, barring a weather event, it will probably continue to climb."

He says decisions on treatments are based on damage done by the gypsy moth in the previous year.

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