From an OBX Today report
Gypsy moths have been found in new locations along the Outer Banks, with the state planning to treat the affected areas in late spring 2022.
The invasive species feeds on the leaves of more than 300 species of trees and shrubs, predominantly oaks and hardwoods.
When areas become heavily infested, trees may be completely stripped of foliage, leaving yard trees and entire forests more susceptible to attacks from other pests. Severe infestations often lead to tree death.
Gypsy moth caterpillars can also pose public health concerns for people with respiratory problems. In areas with high-density gypsy moth populations, the caterpillar hairs and droppings may cause severe allergic reactions.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has addressed spot introductions of the gypsy moth across North Carolina since the 1970s. The treatment is to be done in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and the Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread Foundation, Inc.
An area of Buxton Woods on Hatteras Island has been undergoing treatments for gypsy moths multiple times over the last decade.
Three additional areas on the Outer Banks, in Southern Shores and Duck, southern Corolla and Carova Beach, have now been identified by agriculture officials as needing treatment. Two other areas are on Knotts Island and northwest Camden County.
Public meetings are planned for the coming months on the proposed treatments. One has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 at the Duck Town Hall.
If you are unable to attend the in-person meeting, you can find out more information, submit a public comment, or to request email/text notifications about treatment dates by visiting www.ncagr.gov/GypsyMoths/treat.
OBX Today is the community website of JAM Media Solutions’ Outer Banks radio stations: Beach 104, 94.5 WCMS, 99.1 The Sound and Classic Rock 92.3. The website is managed by local newsman Sam Walker and journalist Kari Pugh. Coastal Review is partnering with OBX Today to provide our readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest about our coast.