Illinois officials to begin treating for gypsy moths this month

(Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

State officials will begin treating northern parts of the state for gypsy moth later this month.

The destructive insect eats more than 250 species of trees and shrubs and are capable of stripping plants bare, which leave them more susceptible to other insects, disease and death.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture plans to treat for the insect on Thursday and Friday in parts of JoDaviess, Kendall, Ogle and Will counties, covering nearly 25,000 acres. State officials work with the U.S. Forest Service each year to treat for the pest.

Officials said in a news release that their focus is to disrupt mating by using a pheromone product through an aerial application. It isn’t harmful to humans, pets or other wildlife, according to state officials.