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Gypsy Moths

Contributor: Action News Now
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Updated: 7/13/2013 3:34 pm
        A notorious hitchhiking insect is sweeping through the North state, effecting trees and shrubs. Two gypsy moths were found in Magalia and paradise last week, which brings a huge concern for the Butte County Agriculture Commissioner. Officials have been putting out traps for over 40 years, but their biggest concern is that this is the first time they've found potential infestation.
        These gypsy moths cause the most damage during the caterpillar stage, when they have the potential to eat as much as a square foot of leaves on a daily basis.
They also eat various trees...including oak, cedar, and redwoods. But, how big of a problem do we really have?
        There have been two gypsy moths found inside traps located in Paradise and Magalia. These traps are vital for researchers to find out the number of moths in a particular area. Each trap has a GPS locator on it that allows researchers to know exactly where to find it.
        They work by sending out pheromones up to six miles, in which they attract male moths to the tree. The moth eventually finds the trap and gets stuck inside of it. During this time of year you won’t see the actual caterpillars, but you will see adult gypsy moths and cocoons.
        There have been no reports of gypsy moths in any other north state counties, however officials will be surveying the surrounding areas this week to find out if there are any moths present. ###

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