Look, up in the sky! It’s gypsy moth sprayers

Look, up in the sky! It’s gypsy moth sprayers

An annual rite of spring in western and central Wisconsin counties is about to return.

Starting next week, the distinctive sound of loud, low-flying airplanes spraying an insecticide to combat the invasive gypsy moth caterpillar will return.

The spraying is scheduled for 20 counties weather permitting.

The gypsy moth are non-native pests that defoliate trees, causing stress and possible tree death.

The counties to be treated this year are Buffalo, Chippewa, Crawford, Dane, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Green and Lafayette. The others are Pepin, Polk, Richland, Rusk, Sauk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, and Washburn.

Treatments in southern Wisconsin will begin in early May and end in northern Wisconsin in August.

Updates about the program can be found at http://gypsymoth.wi.gov.