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PA sprays game lands to fight spongy moth

PA sprays game lands to fight spongy moth

PA sprays 123K acres to fight moth threat

By Blake Jackson

The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to treat over 123,000 acres of state game lands this spring to control the spongy moth, an invasive insect harmful to wildlife habitat. Spraying on 46 different game lands will begin in late April and May, coinciding with spongy moth egg hatch.

"We understand this may temporarily inconvenience hunters," acknowledged Paul Weiss, Chief Forester. "However, these brief disruptions are crucial to protecting forests from this destructive pest."
Scheduled spraying avoids mornings of the youth turkey season (April 27th) and opening day of spring gobbler season (May 4th).

The chosen insecticide, Mimic 2LV, is considered safe for humans, with minimal side effects. It primarily targets spongy moth populations that could cause severe defoliation if left unchecked.
"Many areas experienced late frost last spring, stressing the trees," said Weiss. "Protecting them from further damage is critical this year."

Spraying targets regions like Southcentral, Northcentral, Southeast, Southwest, and Northeast. Notably, the Northwest Region requires no treatment this year.

The Game Commission emphasizes the importance of protecting oak trees, a primary target of spongy moths and a vital food source for wildlife. Past infestations have unfortunately led to a decline in oaks and an increase in less beneficial trees like birch and maple.

"Loss of acorn availability can significantly impact wildlife populations," explained David Gustafson, Director of the Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management. "From squirrels and bears to turkeys, many species rely on acorns for survival and reproduction."

The Game Commission views this spraying program as critical for preserving wildlife habitat and ensuring a healthy ecosystem within state game lands.

Photo Credits: gettyimages-skyf

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Categories: Pennsylvania, Rural Lifestyle

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