Gypsy moth spraying set to begin in Ohio

Department of Agriculture officials say the spray is organic and doesn't harm animals or humans

In this July 28, 2008 photo, a female gypsy moth lays her eggs on the trunk of a tree in the Salmon River State Forest in Hebron, Conn. The scourge of insect pests is expected to put almost two-thirds of America’s forests at risk over the next decade. The gypsy moth, discovered in 1869 in Boston, is found in 20 states as of 2016 and has reached the northern Great Lakes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (AP Photo/Bob Child, File)
In this July 28, 2008 photo, a female gypsy moth lays her eggs on the trunk of a tree in the Salmon River State Forest in Hebron, Conn. The scourge of insect pests is expected to put almost two-thirds of America’s forests at risk over the next decade. The gypsy moth, discovered in 1869 in Boston, is found in 20 states as of 2016 and has reached the northern Great Lakes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (AP Photo/Bob Child, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture is beginning its annual campaign to control the state’s gypsy moth population.

The Columbus Dispatch reports spraying has started this week in central and southeast Ohio. Planes will be covering nearly 75,000 acres with pheromone droplets.

Officials say the overpowering scent from the spray is used by the moths during mating season and will prevent males from finding partners. Department of Agriculture officials say the spray is organic and doesn’t harm animals or humans.

The gypsy moth is an invasive species that feeds on over 300 types of trees and shrubs. Trees attacked by the moths sustain permanent damage and sometimes die.

Officials say there’s been progress in controlling the moths since spraying began in 2009.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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