WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) — Scientists say the gypsy moth that has plagued the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada for more than 100 years remains impervious to pesticides.
An article in the American Chemical Society’s weekly magazine, Chemical & Engineering News, says the gypsy moth, a highly destructive insect that has damaged millions of acres of forests and urban landscapes, is still spreading across the nation despite the use of safer, more effective pesticides.
The magazine’s senior correspondent, Stephen Ritter, said the leaf-munching insects rapidly defoliate trees, leaving them vulnerable to destruction by disease or other pests. Pest-management workers have counterattacked with a series of powerful pesticides and other weapons over the years, but all of them — including a sex hormone that disrupts mating and a virus-based pesticide that kills gypsy moth larvae — have failed to halt their progress.
Ritter said a final victory just might not be possible, but scientists and government agencies are continuing to try new and innovative ways to limit the spread of the moths.
The article is available at http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/88/8817sci2.html.
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