Rockford has a couple of new nuisances that needed to be dealt with before they could strip plants bare ultimately leading to the death of many trees.

Rockford Has a New Killer, a Plant and Tree Killer

We're you driving down State Street in Rockford this morning (6/28) and wondering what those small yellow, low-flying planes were all about?

This Spring, the Illinois Department of Agriculture announced that the population of this plant and tree killer is at a critical level and something big needed to be done. This killer will devour almost anything leafy and green, with a strong preference for oak trees, and my favorite, willow trees.

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Those planes you saw were spraying an organic, biodegradable product made entirely of food-grade materials, according to the CIty of Rockford's Facebook announcement.

The spray is not harmful to humans or pets, but it is to the Lymantria dispar (Gypsy Moth, Spongy Moth) population, and in the strangest way.

Mind-Blowing Scientific Creation

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Often I am amazed at what scientists and researchers come up with in their respective laboratories, this moth spray used around Rockford today is one of them.

It seems reasonable to assume the spray used would just kill the moths and that's the end of it.

Nope.

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The spray's purpose is to mess with the moths' sex lives.

The spray used is called Splat GM-Organic. It is a pheromone that serves as a sexual attractant that confuses male spongy moths and prevents them from breeding.

Back in May, Rockford was sprayed with Btk, a pesticide used to eradicate the spongy moth. Now the ones that survived the pesticide spraying will no longer be able to breed. Gypsy moth females lay between 500 to 1,000 eggs under the bark of a tree.

If you have any questions about the spraying, contact the Northern Field Office of the Illinois Department of Agriculture in DeKalb at 815-787-5476 or visit https://www.slowthespread.org/pages/illinois-outreach

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