DNR Program for Suppression Outbreaks

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers a voluntary program to suppress gypsy moth outbreaks in gypsy moth quarantined counties using a state-organized aerial insecticide treatment (the Suppression Program is managed under State Statute 26.30 and Natural Resources Board Rule number 47). Participating in the Suppression Program aerial spray treatment is often the only feasible way for individuals in urban communities to have aerial treatments on their property.  This is also true in some rural areas.  The USDA Forest Service may provide up to 50% cost share for the expense of these aerial treatments along with the associated administrative costs. The county is responsible to collect the balance of the expense of treatment and the associated administrative work and they may raise those funds by any means appropriate short of applying for a second federal grant.

The DNR’s suppression program is offered to landowners through counties. Participating counties provide a local coordinator who acts as a contact for the public and the DNR and is responsible for a number of duties at the local level. To apply for the suppression program, landowners should check the list of county coordinators or contact their county government. Areas proposed for treatment are determined in the fall (September, October, and November) based in part on the density of egg masses. Applications from counties must be postmarked by the first Friday in December to be considered.

The insecticide used in the suppression program is a formulation of the bacterial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstakii (Btk). Btk is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil that is harmless to people, animals, and even other insects (more information about Btk). Small airplanes will spray Btk in mid-May, early in the morning. Landowners who object to having their property sprayed must register their complaint by the local deadline with their local coordinator. Landowners whose property has been removed from the spray block will be notified. The boundaries of treatment blocks are fixed by March 15 of each year unless there is an irreconcilable conflict with a federally listed threatened or endangered species, or where the contractor for the insecticide treatment determines treatment of the block would be hazardous to the contractor.

For information on how to arrange for a private aerial spray, contact your local suppression coordinator.