Illinois Prepares to Spray for Gypsy Moths

Feb 24, 2020

the gypsy moth
Credit Illinois Dept. of Agriculture

The state is preparing to fight an invasive species in northern Illinois again this year. And starting Monday it will hold meetings to explain the Gypsy Moth treatment program.

Scott Schirmer from the Illinois Department of Agriculture says the gypsy moth has been around since the late 1800's, and by feeding on the leaves of trees, it weakens them, making them suspectible to disease, drought, and heat stress. 

"In Illinois we don't have a lot of trees remaining due to our agricultural activities. So it's very important for us to try and preserve, conserve, and protect what we still have remaining as far as trees and forest resources."

spraying is mainly done by helicopter.
Credit Illinois Dept. of Agriculture

It's especially fond of oak trees.

Schirmer says Illinois has been spraying for gypsy months for more than 30 years, with help from the US Forest Service and the Slow the Spread Foundation.

The chemicals used in the spray are environmentally friendly and not harmful to people, pets, or wildlife.The first open house about this year's treatment program will be held in Byron on Monday, followed by one in Galena on Wednesday, and in Oregon, Illinois on March 5th.