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600 Gypsy moth traps placed in Kitsap County

The state Department of Agriculture’s annual gypsy moth summer trapping program is underway with 600 traps set in Kitsap.

The area east of the Bangor Submarine Base near the intersection of NW Sherman Hill Road and Highway 3 will be particularly heavily trapped because of past gypsy moth activity in the area, according to a statement.

Washington has never had a permanent population of the gypsy moth, the worst forest pest ever brought into the U.S., according to the statement.

The gypsy moth attacks more than 500 species of trees and plants. In its caterpillar form the pest quickly strips trees and plants of leaves, destroying some and weakening others so they are susceptible to plant diseases, the statement said. The caterpillar also destroys wildlife habitat, degrades water quality and triggers costly quarantines of timber, agriculture and nursery products.

Mark Church, trapping coordinator for Kitsap County, is looking forward to the coming trapping season. “We’ve kept this pest out of the state for 36 years,” he said in the statement. “We want that record to continue.”

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