AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Gypsy Moth Management Team will be holding informational meetings in northeastern Iowa in March to discuss gypsy moth management actions for summer 2011. The meetings are free and open to the public.
The European gypsy moth, a well-known pest of trees, has been in the eastern United States for more than 150 years. Iowa has monitored the westward expansion of the gypsy moth since 1970 using pheromone traps. In 2010, more than 2,200 moths were captured in these traps, indicating that pockets of this invasive insect are developing in eastern Iowa.
“The gypsy moth caterpillar has a ravenous appetite for the tree foliage of several hundred species, but oak leaves are their favorite food,” said Mark Shour, ISU Extension Pest Management and the Environment entomologist. “Without corrective action, repeated defoliation of trees by the gypsy moth can cause tree death or weaken trees to attack by diseases and other insects.”
In the coming year, Iowa will be part of the federal Slow the Spread program, a project that has successfully slowed the rate of the advancing front of gypsy moth defoliations. Efforts to limit establishment of gypsy moth in Iowa will use aerial application of mating disruption pheromone. Applications are proposed in specific areas of Allamakee, Winneshiek and Jackson counties.
Informational meetings to address this insect and the proposed action to control it, as well as to make comment, will be held March 1 and 2 at the following Iowa locations:
The Iowa Gypsy Moth Management Team is an interagency, cooperative effort of Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, United States Department of Agriculture - Forest Service and United States Department of Agriculture - APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine.
Additional contacts for the Iowa Gypsy Moth Management Team:
Dustin VandeHoef, IDALS, 515-326-1616
Kevin Baskins, DNR, 515-281-8395