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Gypsy Moth Traps

June 27, 2001
Pheromone traps for gypsy moth have now been placed throughout the state. These 6- by 3-inch cardboard, triangular traps are placed about 5 feet off the ground on tree trunks, poles, and other surfaces. Inside is a synthetic lure that draws a male gypsy moth from a mile away. Males fly into the trap looking for the female producing the scent (pheromone) and get stuck on its sticky interior.

These traps are placed through a cooperative program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Illinois Department of Agriculture. Traps are placed grid-wise depending on the likelihood of gypsy moths being present. In many areas, the traps will be a mile apart to detect any moths present. In rural farming areas where few host trees exist, traps may be more than a mile apart. Finally, where small numbers of gypsy moths are known to occur, traps will be much less than a mile apart to assist in locating infestations.

These traps do not contain any insecticide. Moths other than gypsy moths may enter the trap looking for a place to hide. Thus, moths in the trap may not be gypsy moths. Any moth catches will be recorded by the trap tender who periodically checks the traps. This is a federal pest quarantine and detection program so trap tenders and other official personnel have the right of trespass. If the trap needs to be moved, use the telephone number on the trap to contact the proper authorities. The traps will be removed in July or early August. (Phil Nixon)

Author: Phil Nixon


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