SHADY COVE — A springtime aerial assault will battle a potentially devastating gypsy moth invasion, which is threatening 336 acres in the city.

SHADY COVE — A springtime aerial assault will battle a potentially devastating gypsy moth invasion, which is threatening 336 acres in the city.

Beginning in late April, a biological pesticide will be sprayed from a helicopter in three applications.

A team from the Oregon Insect Pest Prevention and Management Office, a section within the state's Agriculture Department, outlined its plans at a public meeting Thursday.

"Each application is spaced about seven to 14 days apart," said state entomologist Barry Bai. "This is not a chemical spray, but rather a safe biological spray, Bacillus thuringiensis of the variant, kurstaki (Btk)."

Btk is a collection of naturally occurring soil bacteria commonly used on tomatoes in gardens. It's used to kill the gypsy moth during its caterpillar stage by suppressing appetite and restricting movement. It causes death within a few days of application.

"This pesticide is very specific and targeted at the gypsy moth caterpillar," Bai said. "Deer, rabbits, dogs and people are not affected."

He also said it would not damage paint on automobiles.