Minneapolis, MN

MDA conducts treatment on Gypsy Moths, America's most destructive tree pests

Terry Davis

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN — On June 28 - 30, MDA will conduct Gypsy Moth Treatments in eight sites of Houston, Wabasha and Winona Counties.

Gypsy Moths are among America's most destructive tree pests and have caused millions of dollars damage to Eastern forests. The moths are now threatening Minnesota. Knowing this, The Minnesota Department of Agriculture take action by preparing to treat eight sites in Houston, Wabasha and Winona counties to slow down the spread of Gypsy Moths.

The officials will conduct the aerial treatment on June 28 - 30, beginning as early as 6:30 a.m. each morning and continuing throughout the day. The dates are dependent on weather conditions in the area. For now, the schedules covering the eight sites are as follows:

1. Houston County - Jefferson block - 2,881 acres

2. Houston County - Mound Prairie block - 12,060 acres

3. Houston County - Brownsville block, including portions of the city of Brownsville - 2,418 acres

4. Wabasha and Winona Counties - Weaver block - 13,004 acres

5. Winona County - Dakota block - 9,533 acres

6. Winona County - Homer Ridge block - 26,061 acres

7. Winona County - Pleasant Hill block - 1,470 acres

8. Winona County - Wiscoy block - 2,489 acres

The method that will be used is mating disruption involving the aerial application of an organically certified, waxy, food-grade substance containing pheromones specific to gypsy moths that will confuse it for the male moths. This technique makes it difficult for the male gypsy moths to find females which means reducing the success of the mating. The result is fewer caterpillars hatching and attacking trees in the next year. The application of the approach is timed just as adult moths emerge in early summer.

The mating disruption product will be applied by low-flying yellow planes from U.S. Forest Service in a joint project with the MDA. Do not worry, because the product is not harmful to humans, animals, birds or other insects. This method will help in protecting forest, property values and the State's Tourism industry.

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