Brunswick County holding meeting on destructive gypsy moth

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants to hear from residents in Brunswick County concerning planned treatments for the highly destructive gypsy moth.

The gypsy moth is not native to our area. While doing field monitoring, the Dept. of Agriculture discovered that reproducing populations of the gypsy moth are located about four miles south of Bolivia.

Treating them requires aerial spraying of a biological pesticide, Bacillus thuringiensis variety kurstaki, or Btk.

River Swamp runs through the middle of the proposed treatment area, which is bordered on the west side by Gilbert Road SE at the intersection with Goose Marsh Road.There are 18 houses and forested areas consistently mainly of pine, oak, sweetgum and cypress within the area. That’s where male gypsy moths were captured in 2015 and 2016.

In early spring, gypsy moth caterpillars feed on the leaves of hundreds of plant species, predominantly oaks and other hardwood trees. In heavily infested areas, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other pests.

Gypsy moths can also be a nuisance to the general public. In heavily infested areas, caterpillars may crawl on driveways, sidewalks, outdoor furniture, into homes, or end up in swimming pools. Heavy defoliation can affect parks and recreation areas. Some people can have allergic reactions to the caterpillars’ tiny hairs if inhaled.

Options for dealing with gypsy moth infestations include aerial spraying of biological pesticides or gypsy moth mating disruptants. Trapping grids will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Brunswick County Government Center at 30 Government Center Drive NE in Bolivia. Information on treatment options for the 774-acre site will be discussed.



Categories: Brunswick, Community, Local

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