Venango, Clarion and Forest Counties are among eight counties targeted this year for spraying programs to fight the growth of the gypsy moth population.
The state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says Jefferson, Cameron, Potter, Tioga and Lycoming Counties will also be part of the spraying program.
More than 43,000 acres of state forests, parks and gamelands will be targeted, along with some private property, using a fungicide that has been helpful in controlling the destructive caterpillars.
Experts say trees can be killed if 30 percent or more of their leaf surfaces are lost. Gypsy moths are known to strip entire trees, spreading to large parts of many forests.
The last year the DCNR sprayed for gypsy moths was 2009. The department will hold a public hearing on the problem in Harrisburg on Monday. More information is available under “Forestry” on the DCNR’s website.