Areas of Dauphin County due to be sprayed for gypsy month caterpillars

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Dauphin County, Pa — Dauphin County is cooperating with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry and the USDA Forest Service in a joint effort to spray gypsy moth caterpillars this spring in certain residential and public high-use areas within the county.

The areas scheduled for treatment are located in Jefferson, Lykens, Washington, and Wayne townships and Elizabethville Borough. These treatment areas were selected on the basis of surveys and resident requests received last summer – no additional areas can be added at this time.

A biological insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Bt), which only affects leaf-eating caterpillars, will be used. However, Bt may not kill all of the gypsy moth caterpillars. In severe infestations the percentage of surviving caterpillars may still be sufficient to cause some defoliation and also be a nuisance to the homeowner. Because of this and the variability in control caused by the weather, the results cannot be guaranteed.

The spraying is scheduled to occur sometime from late April to early June depending upon caterpillar and leaf development. Local news media will carry information on more specific dates. Spraying will be done by aircraft starting daily at daybreak and continue as long as wind and other conditions are acceptable. Evening, weekend, and holiday spraying will also be conducted when conditions permit. Normally, only one treatment will be applied to any particular property. Bt has not been shown to be harmful to humans, pets, livestock, or gardens. However, it is recommended that you observe normal precautions and remain under cover during spraying. If exposed to the spray, wash with soap and water.

Program standards provide for the treatment of a forested buffer extending no farther than 500 feet from the residence(s) being protected. Open fields, open areas containing only a few scattered trees, and narrow fence rows will not be treated.

Detailed maps of the treatment areas are available for your review at the Dauphin County Conservation District Office, 1451 Peters Mountain Road, Dauphin, PA 17018 during the hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm.

Landowners within approved spray blocks were individually notified in December, January, and February.

Any additional questions regarding the gypsy moth, the insecticide, or this program can be directed to:

Christopher Hooper

Gypsy Moth Suppression Program Coordinator

Dauphin County Conservation District

1451 Peters Mountain Road

Dauphin, PA 17018


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.