WOODWAY, Wash. (AP) — An airplane has been scheduled to drop insecticide in Washington state to stop the spread of an invasive moth and to prevent forest foliage damage, state officials said.
The Washington state Department of Agriculture announced about 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) in Wooday and an Everett neighborhood will be sprayed from up to 200 feet (61 meters) in the air, the Daily Herald reported Monday.
The $300,000 effort could take place between now and June depending on weather conditions and the moths’ hatching season, officials said. Federal funds are expected to cover about 80% of the cost.
The Hokkaido gypsy moths native to Asia arrived in Snohomish County forests last year. They are believed to have come on a cargo ship from an infested area across the Pacific Ocean, experts said.
“This is really bad because they’re very destructive to environment in the U.S.,” department spokesperson Karla Salp said. “They’ll basically eat anything that is around.”
Gypsy moths first arrived in the United States in 1869 and were first detected in Washington state in 1974.
“The good news is that we have been trapping for over 40 years and we’ve prevented them thus far from getting established in Washington,” Salp said.