February 14, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are planning to tackle a gypsy moth infestation in the southeast corner of the city of Minneapolis this spring. In anticipation of the proposed treatment, the department is inviting people to learn about the effort at open houses on February 26 and 27.

Gypsy moths are ranked among America’s most destructive tree pests. The insect has caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as it has spread from New England to Wisconsin in recent decades. Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. The pests are common in Wisconsin and are now establishing themselves in Minnesota.

The MDA maintains a monitoring program to watch for start-up infestations, and when an infestation is found, the department conducts aerial treatments of the infestation before it can spread. In 2019, the MDA found an infestation to the southeast of Lake Nokomis. The department is now developing a treatment plan for a 298 acre area that is roughly bordered by E 53rd Street on the north, Highway 62 on the south, 23rd Avenue S on the west, and 35th Avenue S on the east (SEE MAP). More information on the proposed treatment area can be found here.

Map of the proposed gypsy moth treatment area that is roughly bordered by E 53rd Street on the north, Highway 62 on the south, 23rd Avenue S on the west, and 35th Avenue S on the east

The MDA will host two open houses to share information with citizens about the threat gypsy moths pose to the environment and how officials plan to protect the urban forest.

Open house details:

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
9 – 11 a.m.
Crosstown Covenant Church (Gymnasium)
5540 30th Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Thursday, February 27, 2020
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Keewaydin Recreation Center
3030 E 53rd Street
Minneapolis MN, 55417

Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event please contact Marissa Streifel at 651-201-6096 or through the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 as soon as possible.

Residents can also receive text updates about the proposed gypsy moth treatment by texting "MDA NOKOMIS" to 468-311. Email updates can be received by texting “MDA NOKOMIS [your email address here]” to 468-311.

Over the years, the MDA has successfully treated dozens of gypsy moth infestations across eastern Minnesota from Grand Portage to the Twin Cities to Houston County. A gypsy moth infestation was successfully eliminated in the Lowry Hill Neighborhood of Minneapolis in 2018. These successful treatments help postpone the full-scale invasion of gypsy moth, saving local communities and homeowners money and protecting the health of the state’s urban and natural forests.

For more information on the proposed treatments, go here.

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Media Contact
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications
651-201-6185
Allen.Sommerfeld@state.mn.us