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Home > Plants, Pests & Pest Control > Pest Management > Gypsy Moth Program > Management

Gypsy Moth Management

Management Strategies

Gypsy moth management has come a long way since the early days when infestations had to be burned or removed entirely by hand. Minnesota follows the national gypsy moth management strategies and participates according to results from the annual survey.

Generally Infested Area

  • Gypsy moth populations established and reproducing.
  • Treat outbreaks locally to preserve high-value stands.
  • Counties can be quarantined.

Slow the Spread Area

  • Low-level moth populations present.
  • Targeted treatments to decrease natural spread to less than 6 km/yr.

Gypsy Moth Management Zones Pre-Infested Area

  • No gypsy moth populations present.
  • Find and eliminate start-up populations.

At this time, Minnesota is mostly in the pre-infestation zone. The STS Action Zone covers the Arrowhead region and a few counties in extreme southeast Minnesota.


Distribution: Management Zones & Quarantine Maps


Slow the Spread of the Gypsy Moth logoSlow the Spread

Since 2004, Minnesota has been an official member of the U.S. Forest Service's Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread (STS) program. This program finances a regional effort to control the spread of the gypsy moth through trapping and treatment. It involves collaboration between state and federal government to reduce new areas of infestation. Survey methods, data collection, and reporting have all been standardized so that treatments are most effective.

As a part of the STS program, states located along the leading edge of the gypsy moth population have implemented a regional strategy to minimize the rate at which gypsy moth spreads into uninfested areas. As a direct result of their actions, the national spread rate has been dramatically reduced by more than 70% from the historical level of 13 miles per year to 3 miles per year. In just eight years, this program has prevented the impacts that would have occurred on more than 75 million newly infested acres. The benefits from the national strategy are experienced by the nation as a whole as well as individuals. They are:

  • Reduction of spread of this destructive pest to 3 miles per year, preventing the infestation of more than 150 million acres over the next 20 years.
  • Protection of extensive urban and wild land hardwood forests in the south and upper Midwest.
  • Environmental protection through the use of gypsy moth-specific treatment tactics.
  • Partnerships to promote well-coordinated, region-wide actions based on biological need.

Caterpillars on tree trunkEconomic Benefits

An economic study commissioned by the STS Foundation and conducted in 2008 by Dr. Erin Sills of North Carolina State University revisited the costs and benefits of the STS program through adjustments to a similar study completed in 1990. The objectives of the study were to compare the costs of operating the program to the benefits received by residents and businesses affected by the gypsy moth. Dr. Sills concludes:

Considering household willingness to pay to avoid all impacts of gypsy moth (including impacts on developed recreation, and the impacts of nuisance and defoliation in yards, neighborhoods, and local parks in defoliated zones), the benefits are estimated to be three times as high as the costs of operating the program.

The three national strategies - eradication, STS, and suppression - support management needs by expanding the management options available to state cooperators. The population models and treatments most commonly used within these programs are among a number of management options utilized in Minnesota.

MDA Contact

Arrest the Pest Hotline