RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will soon start treating for gypsy moth infestations in several areas across North Carolina.

The areas in the Triad to be treated include:

  • A large area in Surry, Stokes and Rockingham counties, including Mount Airy, Pilot Mountain, Danbury, Walnut Cove, Madison, Mayodan, and Eden

Other areas around the state:

  • Buxton, on Hatteras Island in Dare County.
  • Stovall, in northern Granville and Vance counties.
  • North of Roxboro in Person County.
  • Baldwin Gap, along the line between Watauga and Ashe counties, northwest of Boone.

Chis Elder, the state's Gypsy Moth program manager said the treatment will start June 2 in Hatteras and spread across to June 18 in Watauga. Elder said they're adding a couple of days to cover possible delays.

Prior to normal gypsy moth mating periods, low-altitude fixed-wing aircraft will disperse SPLAT Gypsy Moth-Organic infused with the naturally occurring gypsy moth pheromone.

According to the NC's agriculture department , Gypsy moths feed on the leaves of more than 300 different species of trees and shrubs, predominantly oaks and hardwoods. When areas become heavily infested, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving yard trees and entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other pests. Severe infestations often lead to tree death.

Health concerns: Gypsy moth caterpillars can also pose public health concerns for people with respiratory problems. In areas with high-density gypsy moth populations, the caterpillar hairs and droppings may cause severe allergic reactions, the state says.

The treatment will be done in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, Elder said.