Today's image is titled Gypsy moth spraying and was photographed by Karen Darcy.
This photo shows a low-flying plane dusting the urban forest in Monona nearly a month ago. The target of the spraying is the larvae of the gypsy moth, an introduced species that's responsible for widespread defoliation throughout the eastern half of North America over the last several decades. The species has spread west into the upper Great Lakes region into Wisconsin, and is now the target of concerted eradication efforts through a variety of means.
One such method is through the aerial spraying of insecticide, conducted through the Wisconsin Gypsy Moth Program operated by the state DNR. There were 23 targeted areas in Dane County, primarily concentrated in developed areas of Madison, Shorewood Hills, Monona, Middleton, and Sun Prairie. Spraying in the county commenced in mid-May, and was completed by June 2. Broad portions of the UW-Madison campus were also included in the program, and have likewise been completed.
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