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Gypsy Moth Sprayings Confuse And Concern Residents

Monday, June 23, 2014 at 3:15 PM

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(Photo by flickr.com's satish nikam)

Some Central Ohio residents were scared by low flying planes this morning. It turns out those planes are owned by the state’s Department of Agriculture, which is using them to halt the growth of the gypsy moth population. As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, the department will continue to spray other parts of Ohio this week.

Some residents, like those in suburban Columbus, could have received an alert like this on their phones.

(PHONE ALERT:) “The Ohio Department of Agriculture will be applying….”

In other areas, there might have been a notification in newspapers.  Still, despite the fact that the state Ag Department had something about the gypsy moth spraying on the agency’s website, many Ohioans say they are concerned because they didn’t have warning and are afraid of the chemical that’s being applied.  Dan Kenny, the Assistant Chief of Plant Health, for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, says there’s no need to worry.

“The product is non-toxic.  It is not harmful to humans, pets or other wildlife,” says Kenny.

The indicators for the product say it shouldn’t be applied to water.  Kenny says the planes avoided water.  He says backyard swimming pools have filters that should be able to remove the very small amount that could possibly land in them. 

But Kenny also says there was no need to empty bird baths, pet bowls and things with standing water, which don’t have filters. Kenny says spraying in Central Ohio will be done by the end of this week and will re-occur as needed in various areas of the state.

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