The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is currently deploying traps to continue its monitoring efforts for gypsy moth across Ohio in cooperation with the US Forest Service. The green traps are being placed throughout Ohio at different densities, depending on location and the known gypsy moth activity.
The traps have a lure inside that will attract the male moths later this season. The trap results will be a useful tool that will monitor the spread, detect increasing populations, and be used to implement management options to slow-the-spread of this invasive species in Ohio and other states.
The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that has been advancing across Ohio. Fifty-one of Ohio's 88 counties have established populations. In its caterpillar stage, it will feed on the leaves of over 300 different tree and shrub species and is especially fond of oaks.
Currently the gypsy moth is in the caterpillar stage as seen below. Its feeding activity is becoming more obvious as leaves are being consumed and their frass (insect excrement) is raining from the canopy where the tree-feast is occurring.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture operates three programs aimed at managing the gypsy moth in the buckeye state. The three programs mirror the three zones defined in a spreading infestation.
- The Suppression Program (infested zone) is in areas where the gypsy moth is well established and treatments are performed at the voluntary request of the landowners.
- The Slow-the-Spread Program (transition zone) focuses on monitoring, detecting, and reducing isolated populations to slow the gypsy moth's movement across the state.
- The Eradication Program (uninfested zone) focuses on monitoring and detecting any populations that may have jumped out ahead of the transition zone. Treatments are so designed to "eradicate" the isolated populations.