Public meetings regarding gypsy moth treatments proposed by the Department of Natural Resources in areas of Lake, St. Joseph and Porter counties this spring will be held from Jan. 27-Feb. 10, at various locations.
The presence of the invasive gypsy moth insect, problems associated with infestations, and methods for dealing with the insect will be discussed.
Meeting locations and times follow.
— Lake County: Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. CST, at Lake County Library Hobart Branch, 100 Main Street, Hobart.
— St. Joseph County: Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. EST and 6 p.m. EST, at Potato Creek State Park Nature Center, 25601 State Road 4, North Liberty.
— Porter County: Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. CST, at Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, 1215 N. State Road 49, Porter.
— Porter County: Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. CST, at Porter County Library Valparaiso Branch, 103 Jefferson St., Valparaiso.
Maps of infested areas can be viewed at gypsymoth.IN.gov.
While open to anyone, the meetings will be geared toward residents of the above sites, which have been identified as having infestations.
At the meetings, personnel from the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology will propose options for treatment. The representatives also will answer questions and take comments.
Written comments may be submitted to Department of Natural Resources, Attn: Gypsy Moth, Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology, 402 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN, 46204, or emailed to: DEPP@dnr.IN.gov. Comments may be submitted until March 12 at 5 p.m. EST.
Options for dealing with gypsy moth that will be discussed in detail at the meetings include:
— Taking no action,
— Using mass trapping, which involves setting a large number of traps in a concentrated area to capture male gypsy moths before they have a chance to locate and mate with females, or
— Using biological control, which involves the aerial application of the naturally occurring bacteria Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki), which eliminates gypsy moth larvae, or
— Using mating disruption, which involves the aerial application of the gypsy moth mating pheromone (or scent) that confuses male gypsy moths and prevents mating, or
— Using integrated pest management, which involves the combined use of the above options.
Those unable to attend one of the public meetings may view the meeting’s PowerPoint presentation, a series of question-and-answer documents, as well as maps of the exact sites of concern and further information at gypsymoth.IN.gov.