gypsy moths

Washington State Department of Agriculture

The Illinois Department of Agriculture plans to spray about 37,000 acres of farmland Wednesday to combat gypsy moths.

Gypsy Moths are a non-native species that feed on over 250 varieties of plants, but are particularly attracted to oak and willow trees.  Large numbers of the moths can defoliate plants, leaving them much more vulnerable to environmental stress.

Illinois officials are trying to combat the spread of gypsy moths responsible for weakening and killing trees in northern areas of the state.  The department uses federal funds to spray bacteria and in some cases...pheremones to confuse the male moths during mating. Nancy Williams with the Illinois Department of Agriculture says the program is not intended to kill off all of the moths, but to at least slow their spread.