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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Aircraft to spray invasive moths in northwest Washington

UPDATED: Wed., May 13, 2020

In this July 19, 2007 file photo, a gypsy moth caterpillar crawls along partially eaten leaves of a tree in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans / Associated Press)
In this July 19, 2007 file photo, a gypsy moth caterpillar crawls along partially eaten leaves of a tree in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WOODWAY, Wash. – An aerial drop of insecticide to stop an invasive moth and to prevent forest foliage damage is scheduled Friday in parts of Washington state, officials said.

The Department of Agriculture announced about 2 square miles in Woodway and an Everett neighborhood will be sprayed with more than 655 gallons of soil bacteria, the Daily Herald reported Tuesday.

The treatment is dependent on weather conditions, department spokesperson Karla Salp said.

“Anybody who wants to avoid being sprayed should stay inside,” Salp said, adding that residents should expect a notification by text, email, Facebook or phone at 5 a.m. Friday before the treatment begins and again when it’s finished.

Residents should close their windows and turn off air conditioning units before spraying begins and remain indoors up to 30 minutes after spraying ends, she said.

The Hokkaido gypsy moths native to Asia arrived in Snohomish County forests last year. They are believed to have come on a cargo ship, experts said.

“This is really bad because they’re very destructive to environment in the U.S.,” Salp said in a previous interview with the Herald. “They’ll basically eat anything that is around.”

Gypsy moths were first detected in Washington state in 1974. The state has implemented multiple preventive measures since their detection.

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