Mongolia has been exposed to a massive influx of moths this year due to the recent vast wildfires that occurred in Siberia. Biologists and officials have issued an alert and advised everyone in the country to assist in exterminating the moths to prevent their continued spread, destruction to crops, and aggravation of allergies.
The gypsy moths are expected to be around until the flight activity of the moths ends on September 1, says B.Ganzorig, the head of the Forest Conservation, Breeding and Rehabilitation Department of the Forest Research and Development Center of Mongolia.
The peak influx is expected to continue for 10 days in mid-August. After that, female moths will start hatching eggs, their flight activity will decline, and the moths will migrate to colonize other habitats, according to experts.
A national survey conducted by the Forest Research and Development Center shows that Siberian silk moths and European gypsy moths have settled in an area stretching 760,000 hectares throughout 85 soums and 15 provinces in Mongolia. Researchers say it’s essential to fight and exterminate moths on at least 560,000 hectares of area in 75 soums.
Around 50 to 60 percent of moths in recent swarms have been identified as webbing moths, commonly referred to as clothing moths. Researchers describe the species as a “super pest” because it is resistant to many insecticides.
Extermination operations have been scheduled for Batsumber soum of Tuv Province and Teshig soum in Bulgan Province, as researchers have found that the moths could devastate crops of cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, and other vegetables across the country.
The area of infestation closest to Ulaanbaatar is Batsumber soum in Tuv Province, which borders the “green zone” of Ulaanbaatar, and forests in Khonin Nuya and Tunkhel of Mandal soum in Selenge Province, noted B.Ganzorig.
The following are the government’s recommendations for exterminating moths.
Residents are advised to destroy moths found around their homes and workplaces. Siberian silk moths have a life span of more than one year, but large populations can be very damaging if the infestations go unchecked.
- Moths are attracted to light
- Are most active at night, between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
- Moth infestations can increase the quantity of fine particles of allergens in the air
Advice for silk moth extermination:
– Wear protective gloves and a mask
– Prepare a trash bag to throw away dead moths
– Use a shovel to collect moths
– Wear clothes that are resistant to fine particles
– Put moths into a trash bag using a shovel
– Dig a hole in the ground to bury the trash bag with moths inside
– Cover the hole with rocks or soil
The size of the hole depends on the size of the trash bag. The hole needs to be at least 20 to 30 cm deep.