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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has scheduled a series of open house meetings to present this year's gypsy moth aerial spray plans. Meetings will be held March 14 in Viroqua, March 15 in Hayward, and March 16 in Menomonie.

'The gypsy moth is a serious invasive pest that threatens our forests and urban trees, and it can have a negative impact on Wisconsin's timber, paper, nursery and tourism industries,' said Christopher Foelker, manager of DATCP's gypsy moth program.

Beginning in May and continuing through late July or early August, DATCP plans to spray over selected areas in western Wisconsin using low-flying planes. A total of approximately 240,079 acres at 86 sites in 19 counties are scheduled for treatment. These areas have been identified as having increasing populations of gypsy moth, a destructive non-native insect with an appetite for hundreds of different species of trees and shrubs.

Counties scheduled to receive aerial treatments are: Barron (19,072 acres); Bayfield (75 acres); Buffalo (9,602 acres); Chippewa (8,811 acres); Crawford (7,486 acres); Douglas (9,426 acres); Dunn (75,499 acres); Eau Claire (8,764 acres); Grant (35,175 acres); Green (93 acres); La Crosse (573 acres); Lafayette (561 acres); Pepin (2,547 acres); Richland (843 acres); Rusk (17,828 acres); Sawyer (2,874 acres); St. Croix (4,424 acres); Trempealeau (17,445 acres); and Vernon (18,981 acres).

Gypsy moth program staff will present information regarding spray plans at these sessions. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with staff, learn more about the gypsy moth, and view maps of spray areas.

The open house schedule is as follows:

✔ Viroqua: Monday, March 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Viroqua Public Library, 205 South Rock Avenue, Viroqua;

✔ Hayward: Tuesday, March 15, 12 noon-2 p.m. Hayward Courthouse Assembly Room, 10610 Main Street, Hayward; and

✔ Menomonie: Wednesday, March 16, 10 a.m.-12 noon. Menomonie Library, 600 Wolske Bay Road, Menomonie.

More information available at http://gypsymoth.wi.gov.

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