FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012
||Matt Andresen, gypsy moth program manager
NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
NCDA&CS to place traps at suspected gypsy moth
infestation near Lake Wheeler
RALEIGH -- The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has started placing orange triangular gypsy moth traps in a two-square-mile area near Lake Wheeler in southern Wake County.Previous surveys have indicated the presence of a reproducing population of the highly damaging gypsy moth in the area.
Traps are being placed in the Brookwood, Oak Ridge Valley, Eagle Ridge and Southern Acres neighborhoods. The traps are baited with the female sex pheromone, making them attractive to any nearby male moths.After the male moth flight is complete in mid-summer, traps will be removed and any male moths counted.
The 75 traps being placed in the area will determine if a reproducing population does in fact exist, and if any control measures are necessary.
“It is crucial that the public not disturb gypsy moth traps,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Contact information will be included on the bottom of each trap, and the public is welcome to check in with my staff for additional program information.”
NCDA&CS encourages all local residents to examine their property for gypsy moth egg masses or caterpillars.Gypsy moths are spread accidentally by humans, often hitchhiking long distances on anything from car tires to outdoor household articles.
Gypsy moths 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, sometimes entering houses and ending up in swimming pools. Some people can have allergic reactions to the caterpillars’ tiny hairs.
While two North Carolina counties are partially or completely quarantined, gypsy moth is not established in the majority of the state.For more on gypsy moths, go to www.ncagr.gov/gypsymoth.
NCDA&CS has addressed new introductions of the gypsy moth across North Carolina since the 1970s.The department is cooperating with the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation Inc. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to reduce the expansion of the gypsy moth into uninfested areas of the state.