Galena among areas state will treat for gypsy moths

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Fifth instar gypsy moth larva (photo from U.S. Forest Service website)

The state plans to use aircraft to spray more than 50,000 acres in northern Illinois to stop destructive gypsy moths from mating.

A 5,000-acre site in Galena, in Jo Daviess County, is among the areas that will be sprayed with pheromone.  The pheromone is a sexual attractant that disrupts the mating of the moths.

The U.S. Forest Service website says gypsy moths tend to target trees, and the forest service is most concerned with damage they can do to oak trees.  Their attacks are not limited to oak trees, and gypsy moths are known to damage about 300 species of trees and shrubs.

Crews will use five single-engine airplanes to apply the pheromone to 50,446 acres of land in DuPage, Jo Daviess, Kane, Will and Winnebago counties.

The largest site to be treated is just over 33,000 acres in DuPage and Will counties.  That area, along with more than 4,400 acres of the Fermilab in Kane County and 5,000 acres in Will County will be sprayed Monday and Tuesday, June 24 and 25, 2013.

Communities affected by that treatment include Naperville, Warrenville, Lisle, Bolingbrook and north of Joliet.

Treatment is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26 in Jo Daviess and Winnebago counties, include the Galena site and about 3,000 acres of Shirland.