NCDA&CS hosts two public meetings on proposed gypsy moth treatments in Person and Stokes counties
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is seeking input from residents in Person and Stokes counties concerning planned treatment activities for the non-native, highly destructive gypsy moth.
Field monitoring activities conducted by the department in 2014 determined that reproducing populations of the gypsy moth exist in Person and Stokes counties and represent a threat to hardwood trees. Residents in or near the proposed treatment areas have been sent notices by mail.
The following meetings are scheduled:
Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. at Pinnacle Volunteer Fire and Rescue, 1033 High Bridge Road, Pinnacle. This meeting is for the proposed treatment of 762 acres in Stokes County. The area is about 3 miles east of Pilot Mountain, with Volunteer Road passing through the southwest quadrant of the area, with the intersection of Brims Grove Road and Oscar Frye Road near its center.
Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Person County Extension Office Auditorium, 304 S. Morgan St., Roxboro. This meeting is for two proposed treatment areas near Roxboro. The 6,448-acre Hurdle Mills treatment area is about 7 miles west of Roxboro, with its center being near the intersection of Rolling Hills Road and Yarborough Road with U.S. 158 passing along its northern boundary. The 14,040-acre Woodsdale Road treatment area is about 5 miles north of Roxboro, centered near the intersection of Woodsdale Road and Lawson Farm Road.
In early spring, gypsy moth caterpillars feed on the leaves of hundreds of plant species, predominantly hardwood trees. In heavily infested areas, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other pests.
Gypsy moths can also be a nuisance to the general public. Caterpillars may migrate in search of food, even entering houses and falling into swimming pools. Some people may have allergic reactions to the caterpillars’ tiny hairs.
Options for dealing with gypsy moth infestations include aerial spraying of biological pesticides or gypsy moth mating disruptants. Trapping grids will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments.
The department has addressed spot introductions of the gypsy moth in several areas across North Carolina since the 1970s. The department is working with nine other states through the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation and with other state and federal agencies to reduce the expansion of the gypsy moth into uninfested areas of the country.