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DNR plans to disrupt gypsy moths' mating in Allen, Whitley counties

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For more on the moth battle

Those unable to attend one of the public meetings can find 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

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 11:17 am

This summer, love may become even more confusing for gypsy moths than it is for humans in 30 square miles of southwestern Allen County and southeastern Whitley County.

The state Department of Natural Resources has proposed spraying a broad swath of both counties with gypsy-moth mating pheromone in June. The aim is to thwart male gypsy moths in their search for females.

The state Department of Natural Resources has scheduled meetings in the next couple of weeks in several areas of the state to explain its proposals for controlling gypsy moths. The problem with gypsy moths is that in their destructive adolescence, as caterpillars, they can kill trees.

They are known to feed on hundreds of species of trees and shrubs, according to the DNR, but they prefer oak trees. When gypsy moth populations reach high levels, trees may be completely defoliated by feeding caterpillars. Several successive years of defoliation, combined with other stresses, can kill trees.

At the meeting, DNR staff will explain problems the moths can cause, where infestations are located and proposals to treat them.

The Allen County meetings are 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Aboite Branch of Allen County

Public Library, 5630 Coventry Lane.

The Whitley County meeting is 6 p.m. Jan. 30 at at Peabody Library in Columbia City.

A much smaller area -- about 34 acres -- located about 4 miles southwest of Columbia City also is targeted for treatment by the DNR in May. The DNR proposes spraying that area with naturally occurring bacteria that will kill gypsy moth larvae.