People who want to know more about a state plan to ward off voracious gypsy moths with an insecticide this spring can get answers to their questions at an open house Thursday in Tacoma.
Officials from the state Agriculture Department will be available at 5:30 p.m. at the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road.
The department in April is planning to spray a moth-killing biological insecticide over 10,500 acres at seven different sites in Western Washington. The largest portion of that land is in Pierce County from the Port of Tacoma extending east past Milton and Fife.
The insecticide, called Btk, is not known to irritate people who do not handle it regularly, according to the EPA. Its key ingredient is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil.
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The state in an environmental study concluded that using the insecticide would not cause significant harm to water, people or animals.
People can comment on the proposal through March 30. A copy of the report is available at http://agr.wa.gov/plantsinsects/insectpests/gypsymoth/.
The gypsy moth is an invasive species that can harm crops and wildlife. The state put together an extensive eradication plan for this year because it captured an unusually high number of gypsy moths in 2015. The Agriculture Department places up to 22,000 gypsy moth traps throughout the state each year to pinpoint areas of infestation.