FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 5, 2017
MDA to fight gypsy moth in Hinckley area tomorrow, June 6
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is planning to treat 791 acres north of Hinckley to eradicate gypsy moth infestations detected in the area last fall. Officials plan to conduct the treatments tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6, starting as early as 5:30 a.m. This is dependent on weather conditions at the time.
In 2016, the MDA’s trapping program found an infestation north of Hinckley. (SEE MAP) Details of the area can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments. 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 Tuesday’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 dates and times. The MDA's website (www.mda.state.mn.us/gypsymoth) also has information about gypsy moths and control efforts. Finally, the MDA offers the following tips to residents in the treatment area:
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications