Indiana Launches Aerial War Against Devastating Spongy Moth

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Adams County, IN – In an aggressive move to control the invasive spongy moth population, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will start aerial treatments today in selected areas of Adams and Wabash counties. The operation involves a yellow airplane dispersing Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) over the treetops at dawn, targeting moth caterpillars that have devastated local foliage.

Btk, a bacterium widely used in organic farming, effectively kills spongy moth caterpillars by disrupting their digestion when ingested. While Btk is generally safe for humans and wildlife, it can in rare instances cause skin irritation, redness, or rashes. Residents near the treatment areas are encouraged to stay indoors during and shortly after the spraying as a precaution and to ensure the spray settles properly on the foliage.

Treatment timings may adjust based on weather conditions, with potential delays due to fog or rain. Updates on treatment progress and schedules can be followed on X @INdnrinvasive or by visiting the DNR’s news releases. For more detailed information about the spongy moth and treatment zones, visit on.IN.gov/spongymoth or contact your local county extension office.

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