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Gypsy Moth Roundup Launched in Hamilton

Gypsy Moth Roundup Launched in Hamilton

MAF is launching an innovative campaign to get the public involved in tracking down any further evidence that gypsy moth may have established colonies near Hamilton.

The campaign will be launched in downtown Hamilton on Thursday 26th June. Forest Biosecurity Director Peter Thomson says the moth is considered a high-risk pest.

“The problem we have is trying to establish if the infestation is widespread. To date we have only found one gypsy moth in Hamilton so any evidence of further infestation is going to be hard to find.”

“The Hamilton community has asked what they can do to help so we would like to enlist their help to track down any further evidence of the gypsy moth,” he says.

“What we want the public to concentrate on is looking for any evidence of gypsy moth egg masses because that is the life stage most likely to exist at this time of year.

“Kids and parents will be asked to have a hunt around their neighbourhood for any sign of the moth. We have designed a postcard with a quick pictorial reference of the egg mass for easy identification. The public will also be able to nominate the school or early childhood centre they want book rewards and X Boxes to go to.

“We have also designed a set of collector cards depicting the various life-stages of the moth for the kids to collect. The individual life stages, Hairy the Caterpillar, Dozy Dan, Billy the Egg and Gypsy Moth make up the Gypsy James gang. Max the Beagle is the Sheriff who has the job of hunting the critters down.

“We are pleased that we have found a way to involve the public in the search for this pest. Finding more evidence of their presence will greatly assist decision-making for the future of this response,” Peter Thomson says.

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