Final round of gypsy moth spraying starts Sunday

8,800 acres are being treated

Fifth instar gypsy moth larva, courtesy US Forest Service

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Agriculture will spray to eradicate gypsy moths Sunday and Monday in North and Northwest Portland. It is the third and final round of spraying.

Gypsy moths are notoriously destructive. There is concern they will damage Northwest forests and crops like Christmas trees. “It’s something that will affect our natural resources, our economy, our way of life if it’s established,” said Bruce Pokarney of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Sunday’s spraying will take place in St. Johns, west Hayden Island and near the Ports of Portland and Vancouver. Spraying on Monday will be over Linnton and Forest Park.

The department uses an insecticide commonly known as Btk, a bacterial species that has been used on gypsy moths in Oregon since 1984.

Pokarney said there is no immediate health risk, but people should stay inside for about half an hour after it drops, and those with food allergies might have a reaction. “It’s a biological insecticide, it’s not a chemical. It’s a pesticide that’s organically certified,” he said.

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