WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A gypsy moth infestation at Purdue University has prompted Department of Natural Resources crews to set traps and plan other treatments.
A professor in Purdue's entomology department notified DNR officials of the infestation June 20. State workers have placed burlap bands around trees to capture caterpillars and have installed moth traps around the infested area.
Phil Marshall of the DNR tells the Journal & Courier the bands will remain in place until mid-July and the traps will be out until August.
The origin of the infestation isn't known.
Gypsy moths can cause heavy defoliation and eventually kill host trees. Caterpillars feed on leaves of oak and other hardwoods. Their hair can irritate skin and cause respiratory allergies.
The Purdue area will be added to a 2014 eradication program.