They make outdoor activities in the summer unpleasant or even impossible with their poop (fras) raining from backyard trees. They aren’t dangerous to people, but they are deadly to trees, and Swanton has some beautiful oaks, their favorite dish. Gypsy moths can kill large trees in two to three years if not managed.
Over a dozen Swanton residents, including the Mayor, Ann Roth, learned how we can reduce Gypsy Moth damage in a workshop presented Aug. 15 at the Community Center by Amy Stone, the Lucas County Extension expert on Gypsy Moths. Aerial suppression treatments must begin next spring with an organic compound that infects the larvae with a virus or bacterium before they can destroy the leaves and kill the trees. The treatment is harmless to people, pets and even to the precious Karner blue butterflies of Oak Openings, but deadly to gypsy moths.
The Swanton Tree Commission is planning emergency meetings to coordinate with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Village leadership to determine a course of action to cover the cost of treating the most severely infected neighborhood of approximately 90 acres in the northeast part of the village. The cost to suppress the larvae and keep their numbers manageable is estimated currently at approximately $3,200—about the cost of removing two large, but dead, trees. The Tree Commission’s goal is to save our oaks, elms, crab apples, and even evergreens like spruce and keep this invasive pest from spreading further.
Should residents want more information they should visit the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website at agri.ohio.gov/gypsy moth.