The Iowa Gypsy Moth Management Team will be holding informational meetings in northeastern Iowa in March to discuss gypsy moth management actions for the 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 over 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," says Mark Shour, ISU Extension 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."
Iowa will participate in the federal "Slow the Spread" program
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.
Two information meetings to address this insect and proposed action to control it, as well as to make comment, will be held March 2 at 1:30 p.m. at the Allamakee County Farm Bureau Building, 14 First Avenue NE, Waukon, IA and 6:30 p.m. at the NE Iowa Dairy Foundation Center, 1527 Highway 150 South, Calmar, IA.
The Iowa Gypsy Moth Management Team is an interagency, cooperative effort of ISU Extension, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA--Forest Service, and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Plant Protection and Quarantine division.