Officials Force Gypsy Moth Spraying

By Daryl Kelley

Serving court warrants, police-escorted state crews entered 27 Ojai area properties without permission on Saturday to spray trees and shrubs with an organic pesticide to halt the spread of a tree-killing moth, a move some homeowners declared an outrage. With Saturday’s action, officials said they’ve now treated all 577 properties within a designated spray zone in Mira Monte and Meiners Oaks just as caterpillars have hatched from larvae on their way to becoming gypsy moths. Officials said they sprayed without permission because the period during which eradication is most effective was ending. A Superior Court judge issued the pest abatement warrant allowing the spraying on Friday as an emergency action. The Ojai area infestation of the gypsy moth, which has ravaged forests on the East Coast and around the Great Lakes, was discovered in 2007, found again last summer and confirmed as a “breeding population” when two clusters of larvae were identified last fall. If the first

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