The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is planning to treat an area in Minneapolis’s Loring Park Neighborhood to eradicate a gypsy moth infestation detected there last fall. Officials plan to conduct a ground treatment beginning Monday, May 17, as early as 5 a.m. and continuing through mid-morning. It may take crews three mornings to complete the work. This schedule is dependent on weather conditions at the time.
This is the first of two rounds of ground applications of Foray/Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) over the area. The second round will take place in 5-14 days. Btk is a biological product that is organic certified for food crops. It has no known health effects for humans, pets, birds, fish, bees, and other non-caterpillar insects.
To help area citizens stay informed, the MDA has set up an Arrest the Pest Info Line at 1-888-545-MOTH with the latest details about treatment dates and times. On the morning of the treatments, residents can call the phone number with any questions they may have. Simply press 0 (zero) to speak to someone. The MDA's website also has information about gypsy moths and control efforts. Residents can sign up for updates about treatment progress by texting “MDA MINNEAPOLIS” to 468311 to receive text notifications or texting “MDA MINNEAPOLIS [your email address here]” to 468311 to receive email notifications.
The MDA offers the following tips to residents in the treatment area:
- For the gypsy moth treatment to work, it must begin early in the morning. Treatments may begin as early as 5:00 a.m. Residents will see tree maintenance crews, and on-street parking may be restricted as crews move around the area.
- The treatment product has no known health effects for humans, but residents may wish to stay indoors during the treatment and keep windows closed for a half hour after application.
- The residue does not cause damage to outdoor surfaces. However, soapy water will remove any residue on windows or other items.
Treatment area: The treatment area is along 14th and 15th streets from Loring Park to Nicollet Ave (SEE MAP).
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.
Contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 1-888-545-6684 or Arrest.the.Pest@state.mn.us with questions regarding gypsy moth and the planned treatments.
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications