Dept. of Ag continues aerial strike on gypsy moth population

By KBJR News 1

Credit: MN Dept. of Agriculture

Dept. of Ag continues aerial strike on gypsy moth population

June 23, 2014 Updated Jun 23, 2014 at 9:41 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota Ag officials are back in the skies over West Duluth putting a stop to one of America's most destructive tree pests.

The second treatment for gypsy moth being sprayed this month covers about 1,200 acres along the St. Louis River.

The spray, known as BTK, is a mixture of yeast, water and a naturally-occurring bacteria.

As the caterpillars eat the leaves, the insect ingests the bacteria and stops the caterpillars from doing any more damage.

"Males are searching for females using their antenna, looking for the pheromone scent that the females leave as they flutter along the ground. We come along with an airplane, put out about a half a cup of these little plastic flakes that are impregnated with an artificial pheromone and confuse the male and they end life in frustration," said Chuck Dryke, the assistant director of planned protection with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Ag officials plan to spray again in late July.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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