The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding residents in a portion of Richfield that yard waste generated this spring cannot be taken out of the state’s temporary gypsy moth quarantined area.
The quarantined area extends from the Crosstown Highway 62 on the north to West 67th Street on the south, and Washburn Avenue S. on the west to Logan Avenue S. on the east.
The MDA placed a quarantine on the area in November 2016 after an infestation of gypsy moths were found through an annual statewide trapping work. MDA staff also conducted a survey on foot and found numerous egg masses. One egg mass can contain up to 500 gypsy moth eggs.
The quarantine restricts the movement of trees and woody material, including firewood, out of the area until June 15, 2017. Trees may be pruned, but all branches and woody material must stay on the property (even if limbs are chipped, gypsy moth eggs are still viable).
The MDA is also reminding residents in the quarantined area that any outdoor equipment, household items, or vehicles that have been sitting outside in the quarantined area since last summer should be visually inspected for gypsy moth egg masses before being moved out of the quarantine. This includes items such as wood pallets, patio furniture, grills, and trampolines, as well as trucks, campers, and boats. Gypsy moth egg masses are brown, fuzzy blobs the size of a quarter. Residents who find an egg mass should contact MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 888-545-6684.
The MDA can lift the quarantine in June after planned gypsy moth treatments in the area this spring. More information on the quarantine and treatments can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/gypsymoth.
Gypsy moths have caused millions of dollars in damage to forests in the eastern United States. The moths are common in Wisconsin and are now threatening Minnesota. If present in large numbers, gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. They feed on over 300 different types of trees and shrubs.
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications