State to spray over Tacoma, Seattle to kill gypsy moths

OLYMPIA — State agriculture officials are spraying parts of Tacoma and Seattle this week to kill leaf-eating gypsy moths.

They’re using a biological insecticide to kill Asian and European gypsy moths. The insects devour shrubs and trees and can make forests more vulnerable to other problems.

The state Department of Agriculture says aerial spraying over Tacoma began Tuesday. The agency now plans to spray 130 acres of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Wednesday morning, a day earlier than planned.

Several sites have already been treated in Western Washington, including Vancouver, Lacey and Gig Harbor.

An assessment by the U.S. Agriculture Department says human health risks from the insecticide will be minimal. It says some native moths and butterflies may be impacted, but those effects are expected to be minor.

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