It's Kill Time For Gypsy Moths

By Daryl Kelley

Amid protests, state crews began spraying a pesticide to eradicate gypsy moths in Mira Monte this week, dousing trees and plants with a clear liquid meant to halt infestation of the tree-killing pest. On Monday, owners of four of the 62 homes targeted for application refused to allow the spraying, with one saying he knew too little about the pesticide.  A handful of masked anti-pesticide protesters, dressed in white protective clothing, also objected to the eradication program because of health concerns. But agricultural officials said that Btk, the organic pesticide being sprayed here, had been used safely and effectively on 30 infestations of the gypsy moth in California in the past 30 years. It is also commonly used to kill mosquitoes and is certified for use in organic gardens. “Our own experience, plus sound science, tells us it works,” said Steve Lyle, spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, who traveled from Sacramento to kick off the program. The

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