Wednesday, July 03, 2013

State to spray in Tukwila for gypsy moths July 8 - Washington

The state Department of Agriculture (WSDA) plans to spray in Tukwila to control gypsy moths starting at 5 a.m. Monday, July 8.

A pilot from Al’s Aerial Spraying, a Michigan-based contractor, is expected to depart Renton Airport shortly after 5 a.m., according to the WSDA. The flight should take from 25 to 30 minutes and it includes flying low over the tree canopy in the 180 acres that includes Fort Dent Park.

The flight target starts south of Foster Golf Links. City park officials and the Tukwila Police are aware of the flight. Residents may be aware of the low flying aircraft during the application. The pilot flies about 100 to 200 feet above the trees. The airplane is a bright yellow color.

The spraying purpose is to release tiny insect pheromone pellets to disrupt the possibility of mating between any adult gypsy moths. The mating disruption application is intended to prevent any small satellite populations from becoming established in the area.

WSDA works to keep gypsy moth from becoming established in Washington because:

·   Gypsy moth attacks up to 500 species of trees, shrubs and plants.

·   Gypsy moth spreads very rapidly. One female moth can produce up to a thousand caterpillars in a season.

·   Gypsy moth has few natural predators in the U.S. and the pest is affecting the environment in 19 East Coast and Upper Midwest states with a large financial impact. Gypsy moth is not established on any West Coast state.

·   Gypsy moth cannot be eradicated once it is permanently established.

·   If permanently established here, it would have a large impact on Washington’s timer, agriculture and horticulture industries.

·   WSDA detects gypsy moth in Washington every year—but no permanent population has developed due to trapping surveillance and eradication projects when a small population is detected.


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