The shaded areas shown on the map on the township website(www.plainfieldtwpmi.com) are scheduled to be sprayed by aircraft with the natural biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) in May or June.
Most of the spraying will be done during the early morning hours when the air is cool, and winds are at a minimum. The exact date and time cannot be known in advance as spray depends on the insect stage, leaf development, and weather conditions.
Recent advances in aircraft navigation systems have made marker balloons unnecessary. It is much more accurate to use the on-board Global Positioning System (GPS) that tracks the aircraft’s position several times a second in relationship to the spray block. The cockpit computer also checks off each spray block as it is completed.
The B.t. spray is applied in a very fine mist for maximum coverage of the leaves. It is applied at one quart per acre in droplets only 5/1000 of aninch in diameter. This protects the leaves with about 50 droplets per square inch. Most of the time the spray cannot be seen or felt. Rain has little effect on the spray if it has had time to dry.
B.t. is a biological insecticide and is known only to affect the caterpillars that are actively feeding at the time of treatment. After ingestion, it destroys the caterpillar’s stomach and the insect slowly dies. After spray, you may notice a change in the gypsy moth caterpillars after two or three days. They stop feeding, become sluggish and sometimes mass in sheltered areas. It may take up to a week for caterpillars thatingested the B.t. to die .
Eradication of the Gypsy Moth is not possible and should not be expected. The intent of the spray program is to give heavily infested home areas some relief from the caterpillar nuisance and to protect other areas from outbreaks when feasible. Homeowners are encouraged to reduce the gypsy moth population in their area by ground spraying, collecting and destroying egg masses, and destroying caterpillars; but no single method should be relied on for complete control.
If you do not want your property sprayed in this year’s program, you must contact the Plainfield Township Offices before May 1, 2020 by either direct mail or email with your local address(s) that you are asking to be removed. Even though you may be removed, if your property is located in a densely populated area we cannot guarantee that some overspray from the surrounding properties will not occur.
There is no additional cost to be included in the spray program. The program is funded by a special assessment. While your property may not be included in the 2021 spray area, this is a 3 year program and we are treating the areas identified by the consultant and approved by the board with the greatest level of infestation and length of attack. We intend to continue to identify the highest infestation areas for treatment and hopefully all infested areas will be treated in the next 3 years. SO we need to be patient.
In the meantime there are some things that you can do around your home as mentioned earlier. In addition you can wrap your trees near the ground, 3’-6’ up with either the “sticky tape”, which will work until it fills with caterpillars and needs to be replaced or wrap a 6” wide strip of burlap, secured by a string allowing the top 3” to roll-over the bottom half thereby creating upside down U or V shape. This stops the caterpillars from climbing up the tree and they build-up at the burlap wrap. Once a day during the 2 to 3 weeks of their feeding phase you need to go out and spray with a diluted 1.5 cups Dawn to 1 gal. water or just plain squish those that have accumulated at the burlap dam.
Maps showing the areas scheduled for treatment are available for viewing at the Plainfield Township offices, and on the internet at www.plainfieldtwpmi.com, under Our Community Directory, Gypsy Moth Program.
Thank you for your cooperation. Plainfield Township Board