Cost of gypsy moth spraying still unknown

| 20 Aug 2015 | 02:47

    By Anya Tikka
    — Who will pay for next year's gypsy moth spraying? Dingman residents wanted to know.

    The Pike County Commissioners are recommending that landowners spray their wooded property when the pest strikes next spring. The commissioners stressed that the spraying program depends on whether state and federal funds come through. The application deadline is Sept. 1. The minimum spray block allotment is 23 acres.

    Landowners will be billed for a portion of the spraying based on total acreage, after an evaluation determines which properties will be included. The commissioners recommend that neighbors and communities get together to pool their acreage, to reach the 23-acre minimum.

    “It’s better to apply now than to find yourself in midst of an abysmal gypsy moth infestation," said supervisors' Chair Tom Mincer.

    The U.S. Forest Service says on its website that the gypsy moth, lymantria dispar, "is one of North America's most devastating forest pests. Gypsy moth populations are typically eruptive in North America. In any forest stand densities may fluctuate from near 1 egg mass per hectare (100 acres) to over 1,000 per hectare. When densities reach very high levels, trees may become completely defoliated."

    Supervisor Dennis Brink noted that Dingman is in a conservation district.

    Town secretary/treasurer Karen Kleist asked about reimbursing residents for the cost of spraying.

    “In the past, we have provided cost rebates to residents," she said.

    Mincer said it’s difficult to do if you have no estimated costs.

    "At the moment, it’s not even known if the program will take place, and the cost is based on total acreage in the program," he said.

    Mincer suggested sending a letter of intention saying the township would bear some of the cost. Brink said it could be a percentage.

    How many sign up and the total acreage to be treated are still unknown — or even if the program will run at all.

    “We’ll certainly offset the cost, if it’s a reasonable cost, but if we suddenly find it’s $75,000 per acre...." Mincer said, trailing off. "If it’s reasonable, we’ll help offset the residents.”

    Dingman will not qualify for the Community Development Block Grant Program because eligibility is based on income in the municipality," Mincer said. Past applications have not been successful, he said.

    Cleanup Day is comingDingman Township Cleanup Day and Electronics Recycling are set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Dingman Township Municipal Garage.

    Participants must provide proof of residence. Charges are by the load, with extra fees for additional waste like appliances or bulky items. Freon removal and tire disposal are available for an extra charge.

    Application forms are available on or by calling 570-226-8220.

    Related story:
    "Get ready for the next gypsy moth invasion":