Friday, March 05, 2004

Back to the Gypsy moth

Officials in Leelanau County, Michigan are taking the proactive approach to gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) control. According to this article from the Leelanau Enterprise, scientists tracking egg masses in areas around the county found their numbers to be above a set threshhold. The county will respond by spraying with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) over affected areas this spring (Bt is a bacteria that disrupts the digestive system of gypsy moth caterpillars, not a fungus as was reported in the article). The National Park Service will also be enacting their own suppression program, using a virus called "Gypcheck" (gypsy moth nuclear polyhedrosis virus). Those who are interested may want to check out this article about the problems Bt causes for native butterfly species.

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