- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (AP) - The state Department of Agriculture plans to begin aerial spraying in seven southern Ohio counties to try to disrupt the spread of the invasive gypsy moth.

The aerial treatments of more than 200 square miles are taking place next week in Athens, Clermont, Fairfield, Hocking, Jackson, Perry and Vinton counties.

Airplanes will fly 100 to 200 feet above the tree tops to apply the treatment throughout the day. The spray doesn’t kill the moth, but it disrupts the mating process by confusing the male as it searches for a female mate. The treatment isn’t harmful to humans, plants or animals.

The gypsy moth is a non-native species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs.

The moth is in 52 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

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