Gypsy moth infestation eradicated
OJAI — The California Department of Food and Agriculture and Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office announced Thursday the eradication of the European gypsy moth infestation in the Ojai area.
The announcement comes more than a year after Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales said the treatment program had ended.
In March 2009, amid a flurry of protests from residents, the Department of Food and Agriculture partnered with Gonzales’ office to spray the Meiners Oaks area to eradicate the gypsy moth. It was considered an emergency action to stop the pest from attacking oak and other hardwood trees.
It was a difficult endeavor as some residents arranged street protests and blockades. Agricultural officials had to get a court order to get access to some properties owned by people who objected to the pesticide spraying.
The treatments were made on plants within 400 meters from each site where the moths had been detected.
After the treatments were completed, monitoring traps were placed over a 9-square-mile area and checked every two weeks. Traps were redeployed in the spring of 2010, with no additional gypsy moths detected.