Spongy moth spray operations are typically conducted from late April through the end of May. Spraying of individual blocks is dependent on leaf development and caterpillar hatch and growth.
operations are performed by low flying aircraft, either helicopter or
airplane. Operations typically are
carried out in the early morning, from first light until noon. On some occasions spraying may be done in the
evening if weather conditions allow. All
spray operations on State Game Lands will be done with airplanes, there are no
helicopters being used on Game Lands.
Adjacent lands owned by DCNR or private lands may be sprayed using
Game Lands are being treated with Mimic 2LV. The active ingredient is tebufenozide, an Insect Growth Regulator. It selectively controls the insect pest with minimal or no impact upon their natural enemies or upon the environment. (See attached Mimic Fact Sheet).
Mimic is generally considered safe to
humans. Most negative side effects
happen with repeated, long term exposure to the concentrated product. As with any chemical, it may cause eye or
skin irritation if exposed. It is
recommended to wash any affected area if irritation occurs.
Mimic is designed to only target lepidopteran species, i.e., moths and butterflies. It does not affect any other orders of insects such as grasshoppers or honey bees. Spongy moths and other defoliating insects generally occur at different times and locations than many of the other native lepidoptera. For example, Spongy moth treatments are conducted in dense forestlands, while species such as the monarch butterfly are associated with grasslands, pastures, parkland, and roadside areas.
Spongy moth is a destructive, invasive insect and not part of Pennsylvania's natural ecosystem. Historically spongy moth impacts have been devastating to the oak dominated forests in Pennsylvania. Massive amounts of oak mortality have led to rapid stand conversions to less desirable forest types across tens of thousands of acres at a time. This can lead to a much lower quality habitat for species ranging from native insects to large mammals, such as deer. Protecting oak habitats with a spray program can also allow for more regular acorn crops now and into the future.
The Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) – Division of Forest Health is the
primary point of contact for specifics of the DCNR spray operations. Andrew
Rohrbaugh is the Forest Pest Suppression Supervisor (717)480-9054.