Some residents on the northwest side of Valparaiso may notice a familiar sight flying low in region skies--a yellow crop duster airplane.Â The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says gypsy moth treatments are set to begin at sunrise Monday, weather permitting.Â According to the DNR, an airplane flying just 75 to 125 feet above treetops will release two aerial treatments of Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki) spaced four to ten days apart.Â Â
Treatment information is posted at gypsymoth.IN.gov and on the Indiana gypsy moth Twitter site at http://twitter.com/#!/INdnrinvasive.
A map of the treatment site is also found at gypsymoth.IN.gov.
During the treatment, people in and near the treatment area might notice a yellow crop duster airplane flying 75-125 feet above treetops as it releases Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki) Foray 76B, a bacterium commonly found in the soil and frequently used in organic farming. Btk kills gypsy moth caterpillars as they feed on tree leaves by disrupting their digestive systems.
Btk has been used for decades by organic gardeners and has an excellent safety record with people and animals. People who live or work near the treatment areas might choose to take common-sense precautions, including staying inside when the planes are flying and for about 30 minutes after treatments are complete. This gives the material time to settle out of the air and adhere to treetops.
In addition to following weather guidelines for treatment, DNR staff monitors leaf development. If leaf development slows because of weather, the treatment may be delayed for that reason and a press release will announce this change.
Areas will also be treated in two other counties including a site in Whitley County andÂ a West Lafayette/Purdue site in Tippecanoe County.
People with questions about this project can call the Indiana DNR toll-free at 1-866-NO EXOTIC (1-866-663-9684) or their Purdue County Extension office at 1-888-EXT-INFO (1-888-398-4636) during regular business hours.Â