A press release from the Village of Lakewood:
Gypsy Moth Aerial Spraying
Viable gypsy moth egg masses have been identified in two locations within the Village of Lakewood that cannot be reached using ground based treatment strategies.
The Village will be conducting aerial spraying for gypsy moths at and around the locations north of Broadway and east of Wiltshire and near the intersection of Huntley Road and Oakwood Drive.
Gypsy moth infested sites will be treated by helicopter with an application of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (B.t.k.), a naturally occurring bacteria used by gardeners as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.
B.t.k. is not considered toxic for people, animals, birds, fish, and other insects such as bees and ladybugs. Also, it does not harm water supplies.
As a general precaution, Public Health officials recommend all persons in spray areas minimize exposure to B.t.k. Persons who are more susceptible to infections or respiratory irritation should pay particular attention to the precautions above.
This includes people with underlying illness such as leukemia, AIDS or other immune system deficiency, people receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment, and people with asthma, emphysema or allergic sensitivities.
The initial application is tentatively scheduled to occur on Wednesday, May 18, depending on weather conditions and larvae development.
The Village will post signs in the spray areas the day before the aerial spraying.
A follow-up application will occur 7-10 days after the initial application.
The gypsy moth is a non-native leaf-eating insect that feasts on plants and shrubs.
Gypsy moths are among the most destructive forest and landscape pests in the United States. In large populations, it is capable of stripping plants bare, leaving them vulnerable to secondary insect and disease attacks.
Oak trees are the most vulnerable to gypsy moth devastation, but the caterpillars will feed on up to 500 other types of trees and shrubs if oak leaves are scarce.