Gypsy moth spraying underway over SuperiorSuperior residents woke to the drone of airplanes this morning.
Superior residents woke to the drone of airplanes Tuesday morning. Five “air tractor” turbo prop planes were spraying for gypsy moths, according to Bill Amorde with the Richard I. Bong Memorial Airport in Superior. Judging by the phone calls he got, Amorde said the planes finished the Billings Park area about 8:50 a.m. and were moving on to the city’s East End and Itasca neighborhoods.
The annual spraying is aimed at the gypsy moth, a pest that can cause massive defoliation. The moth was first found in Wisconsin in 1971. The planes are spraying pheromone flakes, small grain-like treatment that confuses male moths as they search for a mate. The treatment is not harmful to humans.
The planes have a waiver allowing pilots to go as low as they wish while spraying. Amorde said it is not uncommon for them to fly 50 to 100 feet from the ground. Add to that the fact that the heavy turbo prop planes are powered by jet engines, and the activity definitely sparked notice around Superior.
The aerial spraying operation was completed Tuesday, according to a release from Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.