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Death from above

by Alecia Warren
| April 28, 2010 9:00 PM

The bugs are going down.

The Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board will be sending a helicopter early next month to sweep insecticide over 44 acres of its poplar tree reuse farm.

The purpose, said HARSB Manager Ken Windram, is to wipe out the poplar sawfly that threatens to consume the saplings.

"The (Idaho Department of Lands) is concerned if we don't control the sawflies, the repeated defoliation (leaf eating) will kill the poplar trees," Windram said. "And we rely on the poplar to get our drinking water."

The reuse farm, located between Huetter and Atlas roads on the south side of Boekel Road, drains effluent from Hayden's wastewater treatment plant.

So protecting the flora is crucial, Windram said.

"We have so many trees in one place, it's like a buffet for 'em," he said.

The sewer board plans to nail all of the sawflies in one spraying, he said.

A helicopter will spray the farm at some point between May 1 and May 15, depending on when the flies' eggs hatch to ensure maximum effect.

The process will likely take between one to four hours, Windram said, during which the board will block off adjacent roads.

"Just so we don't have any potential car repainting to do in the morning," he said.

The Sevin SL spray poses no threat to humans, animals or crops, he added.

"The pesticide is very common. Nothing exotic," he assured.

About 11 gallons of insecticide will be applied.

The few residences near the site have been notified.

The IDOL is consulting with HARSB on when to begin spraying, Windram said.

"They've been very helpful," Windram said. "It's really great to have them as part of our team to keeping our forest growing green."

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