FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 2, 2016
MDA to fight gypsy moth in Ely and Two Harbors tomorrow, June 3
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is planning to treat approximately 570 acres near Two Harbors and 565 acres in Ely to eradicate gypsy moth infestations detected last fall. Officials plan to conduct the treatments tomorrow, Friday, June 3, starting as early as 5:15 a.m. This is dependent on weather conditions at the time.
In 2015, MDA’s trapping program identified these two isolated pockets of gypsy moth in the northeastern part of the state. Because of their locations, officials believe the gypsy moths likely arrived at the Ely and Two Harbors sites because of human activity.
To eradicate the moths before they spread, officials will conduct two aerial applications of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) over the same area. The second application will likely happen 7-10 days after Friday’s first planned treatment. A notification about the second application will be made at a later date.
Btk is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved bacterium with very low risk for humans or animals other than caterpillars. Btk is widely used within the organic gardening community. Over the years, MDA has eradicated gypsy moth infestations on thousands of acres across the state using this method. These efforts protect forest health, property values and the state's tourism industry.
Gypsy moths are among America's most destructive tree pests, having caused millions of dollars in damage to Eastern forests. The moths are now threatening Minnesota. If present in large numbers, gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. Oak, poplar, birch and willow are among their preferred hosts. The moths spread slowly on their own, but people can unintentionally help them spread by transporting firewood or other items on which the moths have laid their eggs.
To help area citizens stay informed, the MDA has set up an Arrest the Pest Info Line at 1-888-545-MOTH. The info line will offer the latest details about treatment timing. MDA's website (www.mda.state.mn.us/gypsymoth) also has information about gypsy moths and control efforts. Finally, MDA offers the following tips to residents in and around the treatment area:
Details of treatment area:
Ely - The northern edge of the boundary starts just north of the intersection of East Camp Street and 2nd Ave East and runs roughly parallel to East Madison Street. The western edge of the block follows 2nd Ave East south to Lookout Ridge Road. The eastern edge starts at the intersection of North 14th Ave East and East Madison Street running 1.1 mile south. There are no state or federal lands within the treatment block. (Go to http://gis.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments/ and type in “Ely” for a map of the treatment area.)
Two Harbors - The far eastern edge of the block runs parallel to 20th Street stretches west for just over 1 mile (5550 feet). From the intersection of 7th Ave, the eastern edge runs 1/3 mile north and ½ a mile south past the intersection of Hwy 61 and Scenic Old Hwy 61. The northern edge of the block is 880 feet north of and roughly parallel to Valley Road. The southern edge is parallel to and about ½ mile north of Stanley Road. The block is roughly centered on the junction of County Road 10 and County Road 11. (Go to http://gis.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments/ and type in “Two Harbors” for a map of the treatment area.)
CONTACT: Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications
651-201-6185 / email@example.com
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