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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Low flying, loudly buzzing planes were spotted all over Franklin County this morning. The Ohio Department of Agriculture was trying to limit growth of an invasive insect harming Ohio trees.
Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Health Assistant Chief Dan Kenny says, “They feed to the point where you can hear them feeding and there is leaf debris. It can really affect your ability to enjoy your backyard or county parks.”
He’s talking about the gypsy moth. Ohio has been working to lower the gypsy moth population since the 1990s. The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s work will help homeowners and tree lovers next summer.
Kenny explains, “Males go in search of the females by way of a pheromone. We saturate the area with the pheromone so the males cannot find the females. They don’t mate and the population is reduced that way.” The powdery blue compound sprinkled by planes is called “Disrupt 2.”
A team of pilots has covered thousands of acres during the last four days. Those planes buzzed over Columbus Tuesday morning. The plane will wrap up work in Delaware, Marion, Crawford, and Wyandotte Counties on Wednesday.
The planes will fly low and make loud buzzing sounds. They will also make hard turns to stay on course. Kenny adds, “I describe it as like you are mowing your lawn, going back and forth. When you get to the end you make a turn, a sharp turn, on the end so we can keep moving.”
Gypsy moth infestations are serious and the Department of agriculture welcomes your help. Kenny says, “If folks notice any damage on their trees, or any signs on their trees of gypsy moth, we would welcome the call in because that is how we find out about heavy infestations.
Story and video: http://nbc4i.com