YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Yongsan Garrison officials want local residents to stay safe as the garrison starts a seasonal battle against voracious webworms and a creeping fungus.

Pest controllers have started injecting pesticide capsules into trees on the garrison and they’ll start spraying trees, bushes and grass in a few weeks, according to Yongsan officials.

U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Director of Public Works Michael Chung said residents should avoid contact with freshly sprayed areas.

A garrison news report quoted Yi Kyu-ung, pest control foreman, as saying under normal conditions, the pesticides would dry up in about 40 minutes. He added that they aren’t harmful once dry.

“While the health hazard to humans by contact or inhaling the pesticide sprays is virtually nonexistent, community members must make sure their kids and pets don’t approach the control area,” Yi said in the report.

Chung said the webworms — caterpillars that nest and feed in the foliage — can usually be killed with one treatment. But if the area is hit with heavy rains, “the bugs may come back.”

“The fungus is much stronger,” Chung said, and requires direct chemical injection.

Chung said communication between the garrison and residents is important.

“We will give notice three days in advance” of spraying, he said.

Chung said residents should keep their windows closed during the treatment and will be directed not to park directly under certain trees.

If the webworms aren’t killed, Chung said, they devour the foliage.

“The whole tree looks like a dead tree,” he said. “The residents think the tree is sick.”

According to the garrison report, other precautions to observe during spraying include:

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