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Low-flying planes in your neighborhood? Gypsy moth disruption treatments underway in central Ohio

The planes fly approximately 100 feet above the treetops and buildings to apply the treatment.
Credit: WBNS-10TV

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture is conducting aerial treatments across Ohio to disrupt gypsy moth mating across the state. 

Two airplanes are flying over central Ohio neighborhoods this morning. It's expected to last until noon.

The planes fly approximately 100 feet above the treetops and buildings to apply the treatment.

Portions of Columbus, Delaware, Dublin, Gahanna, Granville, Marion, Minerva Park, Newark, Upper Arlington, and Westerville will be treated. Parts of Delaware, Franklin, Hardin, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Union, Vinton, and Washington counties will also receive treatments.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the treatment uses an organic product and is not harmful to animals or humans.  

About Gypsy Moths and the treatments 

*Information provided by ODA

The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs and is especially fond of oak. A healthy tree can usually withstand only two years of defoliation before it is permanently damaged or dies. To date, 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties have established gypsy moth populations.

To help protect Ohio’s diverse habitat, ODA operates multiple programs aimed at managing the gypsy moth in the state. One such program, the Slow-the-Spread program, focuses on monitoring, detecting, and reducing isolated populations to slow the gypsy moth’s movement through treatments. 

ODA will uses a single application of the product SPLAT GM-O. This product does not kill the moth, but it disrupts the mating process by confusing the male as it searches for a female mate. 

For more information on the gypsy moth, including maps of treatment areas and videos of the mating disruption process, visit https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/plant-health/gypsy-moth-program/