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Gypsy Moth Eradication Program
Program Overview
gypsy moth photo
ODA maintains a high-level detection program for gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, and its Asian strain (Asian gypsy moth). Each year approximately 18,000 traps are placed statewide to detect any new introductions. ODA has conducted numerous gypsy moth eradication programs since 1981. These have ranged from large-scale aerial application programs of 225,000 acres in the mid-1980s to small ground application programs of ten acres. Early detection of new introductions has allowed eradication programs to remain small and cost less, a benefit for Oregonians.

Public Information Meetings
Public information meetings hosted by the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, Plant Division, are held to discuss the gypsy moth detections in the local area and their potential impacts, the proposed eradication program and to address any questions or concerns from the public. Public information meeting notices are mailed to all residents and land owners in the vicinity of a proposed eradication program. Public meeting notices are also published in one or more local newspapers.

Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) Information
The biological insecticide Btk is used to eradicate any gypsy moth infestations found. Btk is applied to all foliage either by helicopter or by ground equipment depending on the size and terrain in the eradication area. Foliage treated with Btk must first be ingested by the caterpillar. Btk disrupts the caterpillar's digestive system and causes a bacterial infection. Caterpillars generally stop eating and die within several days. Btk is effective only on caterpillars and does not accumulate in the environment. Public health monitoring studies have shown no adverse health effects of Btk in areas where it has been used. For more information about Btk see the links below.

Btk Fact Sheet (pdf)
FAQ about Btk from Purdue University
B.t.: The Natural Insecticide

Human Health Impact Assessment after Exposures to Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki (pdf)
Safety of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki Applications for Insect Control to Humans and Large Mammals (pdf)
Human Health Surveillance During the Aerial Spraying for Control of North American Gypsy Moth on Southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 1999 (pdf)

Environ. Impact Statement
The 1995 USDA Final Environmental Impact Statement for Gypsy Moth Management in the United States describes in detail the environmental impacts of gypsy moth and the treatment alternatives used for control or eradication.  It is currently being updated and serves to guide gypsy moth program managers nationwide in evaluating the various control and eradication options available.  The 1995 USDA EIS summary (pdf) summarizes these alternatives and their impacts.

Environmental Assessments (EA)
As part of the eradication process, a site specific environmental assessment is drafted to assess the environmental impacts of the preferred treatment alternatives chosen from those evaluated in the 1995 EIS. After a 30 day public comment period the final EA is prepared addressing all comments received from the public and other stakeholders regarding the proposed eradication program.

Spray Notices
If the decision is made by the director of the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture to proceed with the eradication program, a spray notice is mailed to all residents and landowners in the affected area.  It includes the tentative spray dates and times, a map of the treatment area, and contact information.

More Gypsy Moth Information