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US (IL): Second phase of gypsy moth treatment scheduled

The Illinois Department of Agriculture would like to remind northern Illinois residents that phase two of the state's scheduled Gypsy Moth treatment will begin in the morning of Wednesday, June 21, weather permitting. Gypsy moth is an invasive pest that destroys trees and shrubs.

This June, the Department, in conjunction with the United States Forest Service, will treat more than 37,000 acres, covering seven northern Illinois counties, with an aerial mating disruption application. Those counties include: Ogle, Livingston, Stephenson, Jo Daviees, Carroll, LaSalle and DeKalb. This is the second phase of the Department's treatment plan. Previously this spring, the Department treated more than 17,000 acres in three northern Illinois counties.

If weather permits on Wednesday, June 21, the locations identified in the table below (Table 1) will receive an application of Splat-o, an organic and biodegradable product made of wax, oil, water and pheromone, as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. It does not impact other insects, mammals or the environment. The pheromone application serves as a sexual attractant that confuses male gypsy moths and prevents them from breeding. The material will be applied by helicopter or airplane.

Maps of the treatment sites are posted on the department's website at A list of the impacted sites and their scheduled treatments follows:

Under the current state gypsy moth quarantine order, all nursery and lumber products must be inspected or certified before they can be transported out of the eight counties. In addition, residents of these counties must personally inspect vehicles, tents, outdoor lawn furniture, bicycles and other outdoor items for gypsy moth egg masses, live moths and caterpillars before taking them out of the quarantine zone. Anyone convicted of illegally removing prohibited items from the quarantine area may be fined up to $500, and the items themselves must be either immediately removed from the non-infested area or immediately destroyed. The quarantine order covers the following counties: Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Will, Kendall, Kane and LaSalle.

The gypsy moth is a non-native pest. Large populations of the pest are capable of stripping plants bare, leaving them susceptible to disease and environmental stressors. Severe defoliation can cause tree death. Unlike the emerald ash borer, another non-native pest which feeds exclusively on ash trees, the gypsy moth is not a picky eater. It will devour almost anything leafy and green, as it feeds on over 250 species of plants, however it especially prefers oak and willow trees. Male gypsy moths are brown with black markings and have a wingspan of an inch-and-a-half. Female gypsy moths are slightly larger and typically white or cream-colored. The females cannot fly because of the weight of their eggs.

Updates regarding the timing of treatments and impact of the weather can be found on the Department's Gypsy Moth Facebook page ( In the meantime, anyone with questions regarding the gypsy moth treatment schedule or the quarantine order are urged to contact the Department of Agriculture's DeKalb field office at (815) 787-5476.
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