Empty traps: No Asian gypsy moths found after spraying over Port - KPTV - FOX 12

Empty traps: No Asian gypsy moths found after spraying over Portland

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Female European gypsy moth, that looks similar to an Asian gypsy moth. Photo: John H. Ghent, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org Female European gypsy moth, that looks similar to an Asian gypsy moth. Photo: John H. Ghent, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Thousands of traps set in Portland for Asian gypsy moths came up empty after a biological insecticide was sprayed over parts of the city.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday that 19,000 traps statewide, including 3,000 in the north Portland area, showed no detections of the moths.

In the spring, more than 8,000 acres in the metro area was sprayed with Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, or BTK, after three Asian gypsy moths and two European gypsy moths were detected the previous summer.

Agricultural officials were most concerned about the discovery of the Asian gypsy moths in Forest Park, St. Johns and near the Port of Vancouver.

Unlike its European cousin, the female Asian gypsy moth has the ability to fly, which can lead to a more rapid infestation and subsequent spread.

The moths are considered a serious threat to trees and shrubs.

While no Asian gypsy moths were found in the traps, there were four European gypsy moths trapped in the Grants Pass area and two east of Springfield.

Next spring, additional high density trapping will take place in areas where gypsy moths were detected this year, along with heavy trapping in north Portland. However, no spraying or eradication efforts are planned for 2017.  

"We receive shipments into our ports from Russia, Korea, China, and Japan," said Clint Burfitt, manager of ODA's Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program. "Those Asian ports are well lit and near forested areas. The Asian gypsy moths are attracted to the lights. Female moths fly onto the ships, then lay their eggs on containers and commodities. Based on the high population of moths at these Asian ports and the egg masses that have been recovered from the ships the past couple of years, there has been a heightened alert nationally to be on the lookout for Asian gypsy moth."

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