Ag department explains tactics against moth menace
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is gearing up to battle gypsy moths when they migrate into northern Illinois, including through the use of a bacterium and a pheromone.
To that end, the department is offering four open houses over the next two weeks to explain its strategy and address any safety concerns. The first event is planned for Tuesday at the Pontiac Public Library, 211 E. Madison Street in Pontiac.
The gypsy moth poses a threat to more than 250 species of trees and shrubs. They can expose plants to secondary insects and disease by stripping them bare. Plants also can die from the severe defoliation.
Beginning in mid-May, infested sites will be treated with BtK, a bacterium used by gardeners as a pesticide alternative, or mating disruption, a gypsy moth-specific pheromone that prevents male moths from breeding.
All of the open houses run from 3 to 6 p.m. The other three are scheduled for Thursday at the Oglesby Public Library, 111 S. Woodland Ave. in Oglesby; March 7 at the Oswego Public Library, 32 W. Jefferson St. in Oswego; and March 8 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St. in Freeport.