.The state of Iowa is about to start a chemical war of sorts to battle a bug.The destructive gypsy moth has been migrating from the east coast towardIowa for decades. State entomologist John Haanstad says the moths have beenfound in large enough numbers in the Clayton County town of McGregor thataction will need to be taken. Haanstad says small plastic flakes will bespread around that mimic the smell produced by the female gypsy moth. Hesays the flakes confuse the moths and they can’t find each other to mate.Haanstad says the destructive moths were first found in the U-S inMassachusetts in the late 1860s. Since the females can’t fly, it’s takendecades for them to migrate. He says the “major front” is now just east ofMadison, Wisconsin.Haanstad says there’s nothing Iowa homeowners can do at this point to protecttheir trees — though he says the threat is very small now. He saysvigilance is the best weapon. As the moths appear, they’ll be wiped out. Apublic meeting is planned for 7 p-m Thursday at the McGregor Public Libraryto inform the public about the eradication program.
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