This website provides information about the gypsy moth and Minnesota's efforts to monitor this invasive species. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture tracks its movement into our state and we treat localized infestations to protect our forests, local property values, and our state's vital tourism industry.
Find out more about the Gypsy Moth Quarantine.
The gypsy moth is one of North America's most destructive tree pests. In eastern states with significant infestations, gypsy moth caterpillars have defoliated entire forests and caused millions of dollars of damage to urban landscapes. Minnesota participates in a multi-state effort to prevent or delay this harmful pest from becoming established here.
Gypsy moth infestations are common from maritime Canadian provinces south to North Carolina and as far west as central Wisconsin. There are no known permanent populations of gypsy moths in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is responsible for ongoing monitoring to detect high moth concentrations. We organize a trapping program each summer to look for moths across the state. Cooperation from landowners and land managers is essential for our success.
If gypsy moths are found, standard treatment protocols are followed to eradicate the pest or diminish its population. We use approved treatments such as a biological insecticide (Btk) and mating disruptants that mimic the female gypsy moth's pheromone.
Regulations to contain the pest populations are updated each year by the federal government in cooperation with the states. Regulatory decisions are based on data from the trapping program. It is illegal to knowingly transport any life stage of the gypsy moth out of a quarantined area. Businesses that regularly remove high-risk materials from the quarantine can apply for a compliance agreement with the MDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This agreement specifies terms of movement to minimize the risk of introducing gypsy moths to uninfested areas.
USDA's gypsy moth North American quarantine map.
Minnesota's gypsy moth program is coordinated under the Gypsy Moth Program Advisory Committee (GMPAC). This group provides recommendations on short- and long-term gypsy moth program components and is comprised of experts from:
GMPAC's mission is to delay, prevent or mitigate adverse impacts directly or indirectly associated with gypsy moth infestation on the state's natural resources, citizens and industries.
Want to learn more about gypsy moth and other invasive species threatening Minnesota's forests? Check out our video series, "Invaders At Our Doorstep: Exotic Forest Pests of the Midwest". Find out how the Minnesota Department of Agriculture monitors and, if found, manages this pest.
Arrest the Pest
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org