Conservation District Reminds Residents of Gypsy Moth Cost-Sharing Program | News

The Clearfield County Conservation District reminds residents that it currently has a non-cost-share program for gypsy moth control.

The district has recently received a number of calls regarding gypsy moth treatment, according to agricultural technician Nick Hepfl. The gypsy moth is an invasive species and has been the primary driver of tree mortality on state forest lands since the 1970s, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The DCNR reports that an outbreak occurred from 2013 to 2019 and had built for 2021. The DCNR Bureau of Forestry uses airplanes and helicopters to apply the insect growth regulator tebufenozide, and also uses Bacillus thuringiensissubspecies kurstakia natural biological insecticide for gypsy moth population control.

While the district receives $750 for coordinating a gypsy moth program, a functioning program would require additional funds, according to Hepfl.

“We only coordinate something if we have money to coordinate, which we don’t,” Hepfl said.

We wondered how an active program could be set up and run. It would probably depend on the county for funding.

“The county doesn’t have a separate program for applying for private,” District Manager Willie Null said. He spoke to commissioner Tony Scotto, who sits on the board: “If you put money aside to do this, that’s how it would work.

Officials noted that last year the gypsy moth situation was bad. This year, community interest may be high due to last year’s event.

DCNR recommends making a plan for a gypsy moth control treatment during the fall and winter months. Treatments generally begin in the spring.

Hepfl offered some advice for anyone wanting to treat an area. “It’s more cost-effective for you to hire a private applicator than to go to the state, and it’s more efficient,” he said.