February 14, 2018

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are planning to tackle a gypsy moth infestation in the Split rock/Beaver Bay areas this summer. In anticipation of the proposed treatment, the department is inviting people to learn about the effort at an open house on February 28 in Beaver Bay.

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 2017, the MDA found an infestation along the North Shore. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, the department is now developing a treatment plan for approximately 73,500 acres, including 11,000 acres of Superior National Forest land. (SEE MAP) Details of the area can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments.

The MDA will host an open house from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. on February 28 to share information with citizens about the threat gypsy moths pose to the environment and how officials plan to protect the urban forest. There will not be a formal presentation.

Meeting details:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Beaver Bay Community Center
711 McDonald Ave.
Beaver Bay, MN 55601

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, including treatments in and around Beaver Bay in 2009 and 2011. 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 to www.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments.

Media Contact
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications