MDA proposing gypsy moth treatment

Published 8:22 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and partner organizations are planning to tackle a gypsy moth infestation in the southeast corner of the city of Minneapolis this spring, according to a press release. In anticipation of the proposed treatment, the department is inviting people to learn about the effort at open houses Feb. 26 and Feb. 27.

Gypsy moths are ranked among America’s most destructive tree pests, the release stated. The insect has caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as it has spread from New England to Wisconsin in recent decades. Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. The pests are common in Wisconsin and are now establishing themselves in Minnesota.

The MDA maintains a monitoring program to watch for start-up infestations, and when an infestation is found, the department conducts aerial treatments of the infestation before it can spread.

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In 2019, the MDA found an infestation to the southeast of Lake Nokomis. The department is now developing a treatment plan for a 298-acre area that is roughly bordered by East 53rd Street on the north, Highway 62 on the south, 23rd Avenue South on the west and 35th Avenue South on the east. More information on the proposed treatment area can be found at

The MDA will host two open houses to share information with citizens about the threat gypsy moths pose to the environment and how officials plan to protect the urban forest. One will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at Crosstown Covenant Church in Minneapolis, the other from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Keewaydin Recreation Center in Minneapolis.

Over the years, the MDA has successfully treated dozens of gypsy moth infestations across eastern Minnesota from Grand Portage to the Twin Cities to Houston County.