Gypsy-moth spray due tomorrow

April 28, 2002

Aerial spraying of insecticides to protect the state's hardwood forests and shade trees from damage by gypsy moth caterpillars will begin in certain areas of Central, Southern and Northeast Maryland tomorrow. Spraying will continue in early May in Western Maryland.

Trees in each area - a total of about 39,616 acres - will be treated one time from the air during the roughly two-week period just after caterpillars hatch and begin to eat leaves.

Trees in specific areas of Anne Arundel and about 12 other counties, as well as Baltimore City and some parks, will be sprayed. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) will be used on trees near bodies of water; Dimilin, a chemical insect growth regulator, will be applied to trees in most other areas.

Residents who see the low-flying aircraft are asked not to call 911.

Those who want to minimize exposure to the insecticides should remain indoors during the application and for 15 to 20 minutes afterward, until the spray droplets have dried. Privately owned property can be excluded from the program if a written objection is submitted to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Information: 800-492-2106, or www.mda.state.md.us and click on Gypsy Moth Program.

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