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ODA ready to set the trap for invasive insect pests
5/8/2013

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Over the next few weeks, survey technicians with the Oregon Department of Agriculture will place thousands of traps for gypsy moth, Japanese beetle, and other exotic insect pests that pose a threat to the state’s environment and economy:


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Audio 01
It’s a spring ritual designed to achieve early detection of plant-eating insect pests. But this year’s effort to place traps requires more strategic focus as federal funds have been greatly reduced, says ODA entomologist Helmuth Rogg:

ROGG:  “We are restricting ourselves right now to the really high risk sites, like around the ports and some of the big cities– go there and check it out. But we can’t go into the deep forest anymore like we used to do.”  :13



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Audio 02
In fact, ODA is expecting to place only about 7-thousand gypsy moth traps, which is about half of what is placed in normal years. However, there is some good news regarding gypsy moths. Only one was trapped last year, none the year before:

ROGG:  “This will be a record fourth season without a gypsy moth eradication– something we have not seen, obviously, in Oregon since we looked for the gypsy moth in the 70s.”  :12



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While it may be tempting to think that gypsy moth is no longer a threat to Oregon, the reality is the pest is well established back east and can be easily re-introduced as new residents or travelers from areas of high gypsy moth populations unwittingly bring the pest with them. That’s why early detection through trapping is so important. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.



Additional audio: Audio 03
ROGG is concerned about the threat of Asian gypsy moth hitching a ride on ships coming up the Columbia River or calling on the Port of Portland. The Asian gypsy moth is especially dangerous because the female is able to fly, unlike its cousin, the more common European gypsy moth:

“Our colleagues from the Custom Border Patrol already found egg masses of Asian gypsy moth on vessels coming in from Asia.”  :11



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Additional audio: Audio 04
ROGG says with the cutback in funding and the reduced ability to place gypsy moth traps statewide, ODA is looking for partners in the more rural areas of the state:

“We’re trying to reach out to other agencies like the Oregon Department of Forestry and the US Forest Service to ask them to help us put out some additional traps in areas that are way too far out for us to go.”  :15



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