This is a Media Release from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Brett Gates, Deputy Communication Director .
As Columbus commuters and residents go about their routines on Tuesday, June 21, they are likely to notice these yellow airplanes gracing the skies of the capital city:
The Ohio Department of Agriculture wants to make folks aware that these airplanes are fighting back against the gypsy moth, a pest that can wreak havoc on over 300 different types of our trees and shrubs while feeding on their foliage. The gypsy moth has been such a pest to our trees for so long it was even featured on this classic episode of Lassie, “Lassie and the Winged Enemy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jXKDi7dZ6Y
Airplanes will fly 100-200' above the tree tops and buildings to apply the treatment throughout the day. Weather permitting, treatments will begin in the Columbus area, including downtown on Tuesday, June 21, and occur over one or two days.
The product being used is Disrupt II, a tiny flake which does not kill the moth, but disrupts the mating process by confusing the male as it searches for a female mate. Disrupt II is not harmful to birds, plants, pets or humans.
For more information on the gypsy moth, including maps of the treatment areas in Columbus, videos of the mating disruption treatment process and much more, please visit http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/plant/gypsy/gypsy-index.aspx