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May 29, 2014

~ Augusta, Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Patrick, Rockbridge and Wythe counties to be treated week of June 16 ~
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the United States Department of Agriculture - Forest Service are cooperating in an aerial insecticide application project to suppress and/or eradicate small isolated infestations of the gypsy moth. The treatments, tentatively scheduled for the week of June 2, will be conducted in the cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake near White Marsh Road, Skeetertown, Whaleyville Road, Jackson Road and sections of the Great Dismal Swamp-National Wildlife Refuge.

The treatments are part of the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread program. Treatment is necessary because the leaf-eating gypsy moth caterpillar can cause dramatic devastation in Virginia’s forests. These invasive pests are voracious eaters and can completely defoliate entire trees. They have been known to defoliate up to 13 million acres of trees in one season. Their presence on trees and roads and their ability to strip or kill a tree can have a negative impact on outdoor recreation, and the death of many trees can change the mix of tree species and affect dependent wildlife. They will crawl on houses, cars, outside toys and picnic tables, making the outdoors an unpleasant place.

The applications will be conducted using airplanes during daylight hours, weather permitting. Specific treatment dates will be posted on the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ website.

The treatment will consist of one application of the gypsy moth mating disruption pheromone Hercon Disrupt II®. The pheromone hampers the ability of the male gypsy moth to find and mate a female gypsy moth. Information on the Hercon Disrupt II® can be found on the manufacturer’s website at

Information on the gypsy moth and the mating disruption treatments can be found on the websites below or by contacting the VDACS Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Office at 540.394.2507: or

The week of June 16, treatments will be conducted in the counties of Augusta, Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Patrick, Rockbridge and Wythe.

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