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Iowa officials planning aerial assault on invasive gypsy moths

Iowa officials planning aerial assault on invasive gypsy moths

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Forest Pests

FILE - In this July 28, 2008, file photo, a female gypsy moth lays her eggs on the trunk of a tree in the Salmon River State Forest in Hebron, Conn. (AP Photo/Bob Child, File)

BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials say low-flying planes will release a substance Wednesday in an effort to stop the spread of invasive gypsy moths in eastern Iowa's Jackson County.

The planes will release what agricultural officials say is a "mating disruptor" that's made of food-grade materials and is not harmful to people, animals, birds, plants or other insects. The spraying is scheduled for more than 10,000 acres (4,047 hectares) on Wednesday, west and northwest of Bellevue.

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The gypsy moth has spread slowly west from Massachusetts since the 1870s. It's an invasive species that can cause extensive deforestation as its larvae eat leaves, particularly oak leaves.

More information is available online or from the Iowa Gypsy Moth Hotline at 855-497-7966.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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