Cool weather delays moth hatch
Gypsy moths have not started hatching in Rock County, said county conservation specialist Anne Miller.
That means the annual moth spraying programs won’t start until mid-May at the earliest in southern Wisconsin, she said.
Spraying is dependent on caterpillar development and typically starts a couple weeks after they hatch, she said. Last year, state and county officials were getting ready to spray during the first week of May.
“It’s a little odd not to see anything yet,” Miller said.
Rock County is one of eight counties in the DNR’s gypsy moth suppression program. Dane county also is in the suppression program, while counties west of Rock and Dane are in the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Slow the Spread program.
The suppression program is aimed at controlling the pest in order to save trees in areas where the moth already is established. The department of agriculture’s program is aimed at “attacking isolated, pioneering colonies” of moths to the west of the established sites.
Landowners and municipalities in areas treated in the suppression program must apply and could get money to cover the cost of treatment. The Slow the Spread program is not voluntary and does not necessarily provide cost sharing.
In Rock County, the moths’ established sites are in the city of Beloit and Beloit Township.
In Green County, the agriculture department is targeting pioneering colonies west of Brodhead, south of Albany, south of New Glarus and southwest of Brooklyn.