UPDATE 4/20/2016 6:25 AM: That was a punctual pilot.
UPDATE 4/20/2016 11:50 AM: A spokesperson tells CHS no spraying is planned for Thursday, 4/21. “We have to allow a few days to pass between treatments and plan on conducting three at each site,” the spokesperson tells CHS. The next morning of flyovers has not yet been scheduled yet.
UPDATE 4/21/2016: The state says no more spraying until Monday at the earliest — but rain might mean a longer wait for round two:
The next gypsy moth treatments are not expected to occur until Monday at the earliest, but that is subject to the weather as we cannot apply the pesticide in the rain or if rain is in the immediate forecast.
This is why we encourage the public to visit www.agr.wa.gov/gypsymoth and sign up for email, text or robo-call notifications if they wish to be alerted in advance of any of these treatments or changes in schedule.
UPDATE 4/24/2016: Sate says Monday will be the second day of spraying on Capitol Hill — *if* it isn’t raining. UPDATE x2: Canceled: “The Washington State Department of Agriculture’s gypsy moth treatments scheduled for Monday, April 25th for Seattle and Gig Harbor have been CANCELLED due to the weather. The Vancouver treatment is proceeding as scheduled.”
Monday, April 25, will be a gypsy moth treatment morning, weather dependent. Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and the Gig Harbor site are the locations we plan to treat tomorrow. It will be the second treatment for both communities. Vancouver is also scheduled for its second treatment Monday morning, but that work is being done by the Oregon Department of Agriculture in a partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The first treatment of the 130-acre site in Seattle was completed in about 15 minutes on Wednesday, April 20. The Gig Harbor site, about 600 acres, was treated on Monday, April 18, in about 45 minutes. The Vancouver site is 807 acres and was last treated on Sunday, April 17. All gypsy moth treatments are very weather dependent as we cannot apply the pesticide in the rain or if rain is in the immediate forecast. That means tomorrow’s treatments may be delayed or even postponed to another day in the event of rain or other weather problems.
UPDATE 4/25/2016: After Monday morning’s rain, round 2 is slated for Tuesday:
Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and the Gig Harbor, Lacey, and Nisqually sites are the locations we plan to treat tomorrow. It will be the second treatment for all communities.
UPDATE 4/28/2016: May Day on Capitol Hill will, weather permitting, begin with one last morning treatment:
The final stage of gypsy moth treatments is scheduled to begin this weekend. Our next scheduled treatment will be Saturday, April 30, when we plan to treat the Port of Tacoma area, also referred to as the lower Tacoma site. On Sunday, May 1, we plan to treat Capitol Hill, Gig Harbor, Lacey and Nisqually if the weather allows. Vancouver will also be treated on Sunday. These will all be the third and, most likely, final time these sites will be treated this season.
UPDATE 5/1/2016: Weather looks awesome for Monday — so this might finally be the last round for this spring:
Today, we completed the third and final treatments for Kent, Nisqually. The Oregon Department of Agriculture completed the third and final treatment of Vancouver. On Monday, May 2, we are planning to treat Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and Gig Harbor.
Original report: The Washington State Department of Agriculture says the war against Capitol Hill gypsy moths is about to begin. An airplane is scheduled to fly above an area near the Miller Park neighborhood early Wednesday morning to deploy an organic pesticide. The state says Btk is not toxic to humans but recommends minimizing exposure.
The process will require multiple days of treatments. CHS wrote about the treatment plan here and how to stay abreast of the schedule.
The state has been treating for gypsy moths since 1979. As of last year, they had conducted 93 eradication efforts across the state, including one here in 2006. Last year, the department deployed about 16,000 traps to attempt to detect gypsy moths across the state.
The WSDA announcement on the plans for Wednesday morning is below.
Today’s gypsy moth treatment in Tacoma went smoothly and much faster than anticipated. All but about 100 acres in Tacoma were treated before we stopped operations for the day at 8 a.m.
Seattle’s treatment will be moved to Wed., April 20.
This is as a result of us being able treat more of the Tacoma site than anticipated. A 130-acre site in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will be treated beginning at about 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. Once Capitol Hill is complete, the last 100 acres of the Tacoma site will be wrapped up.
Like all of our treatments, these dates are subject to change due to the weather or other factors. We advise the public to visit www.agr.wa.gov/gypsymoth and sign up for email, text or robo-call notifications if they wish to be alerted in advance of any of these treatments or changes in schedule.
To date, WSDA has conducted gypsy moth treatments in areas of:
- Gig Harbor
- Lower Tacoma site
- Most of the Upper Tacoma site
All sites must be treated three times for the best chances of eradicating the gypsy moth. We are treating all these sites with Btk, a non-chemical bacterial insecticide approved for organic agriculture. It targets caterpillars and is not harmful to people, pets or bees. An airplane is being used to treat most sites, but the Vancouver site is being treated by helicopter in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which is eradicating its own detection of gypsy moth in the Portland area.
Here’s information on getting alerts about the spraying:
Reminder: All treatment times are highly dependent on the weather. Should we have warmer or colder weather than anticipated, treatment times could start earlier or later. To receive notifications when treatments actually occur, sign up for our alerts via e-mail, text, or robo call.