Spongy Moth Quarantine and Regulatory Information

Spongy moth is a serious invasive forest pest that requires a quarantine to slow it's spread. The spongy moth quarantine limits the movement of certain items out of a designated area and is an effective tool in managing and slowing it's spread across the U.S. and Minnesota.

Spongy moths are expert hitchhikers and are most commonly transported as egg masses. The female will lay her eggs on any solid surface increasing the risk of further distribution.

The following articles are regulated under spongy moth quarantines

  • All stages of the spongy moth life cycle including: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult moths
  • Logs, posts, sawbolts, and pulpwood
  • Bark and bark products
  • Nursery stock
  • Christmas trees, boughs, wreaths and garland
  • Firewood
  • Outdoor household articles
  • Mobile homes and associated items
  • Any other products, articles, or means of conveyance that present a high risk of artificial spread of spongy moth

General Quarantine Information and Distribution

Federal gyspy moth quarantine map

Map of Minnesota gypsy moth quarantine counties

 

Limited Permits Expire Annually on April 30th

All untreated regulated articles, such as sawbolts, pulpwood, or bark for fuel, must be accompanied by a limited permit when leaving spongy moth quarantined areas. Untreated regulated articles can only be transported to specified locations in accordance with specialized conditions.

All MDA limited permits expire annually on April 30th. To obtain a limited permit, individuals must complete a training module provided by the MDA. If you had a valid 2021 limited permit you were emailed instructions on how to complete the 2022 online training and submit your renewal application. The MDA must receive your completed application and you must complete the online training by April 25 to receive a valid permit for 2022.

First time applicants and applicants that did not have a valid permit in 2021 can contact Deb Davis Hudak deborah.davis.hudak@state.mn.us for application information and to enroll in the online training.

Limited Permit Training

  • Online training is available. No in-person training is available at this time.
  • Contact the MDA if you need a limited permit after April 30 for the 2022 calendar year.
  • Limited Permits cannot be used for shipment of sawlogs, firewood, bark for mulch, holiday greenery, nursery stock, or for movement outside of Minnesota.

Compliance Agreements

A compliance agreement is a formal agreement between the state and an entity who handle or move regulated articles out of a quarantine. Compliance agreements establish standard operating procedures that meet the quarantine requirements to limit the risk of spreading spongy moth. Compliance agreements are typically established with entities that handle and move sawlogs, firewood, bark, holiday greenery, and more.

Quarantine violations occur when companies or individuals transport regulated articles out of the quarantined area without appropriate documentation and can result in civil or criminal penalties. Entities that regularly move regulated articles can continue to do so if they are operating under a compliance agreement.

Gypsy moth female
Spongy Moth Female and Egg Mass
gypsy moth caterpillar
Spongy Moth Caterpillar

Information for: tourists, homeowners, and industries including nursery and lumber.

House iconOutdoor Household Articles (patio items, camping equipment, firewood, etc.)

Self-inspection of all outdoor household articles using this checklist is required in order to move them out of the quarantine. Treat or remove any life stages found upon inspection. Before moving, check for the spongy moth and complete the APHIS spongy moth check list form while homeowners are packing up household goods to move interstate. For residents using a moving company or portable storage, the completed checklist must accompany the shipment.

Mobile home iconMobile Homes (RVs, mobile workspaces, etc.)

Inspection and documentation are required prior to moving outside of the quarantine.  Qualified Certified Applicators or state/federal agriculture agencies may provide inspection assistance.

For questions on spongy moth or the quarantine, call MDA’s Arrest the Pest Hotline at 888-545-6684 or email gypsy.moth@state.mn.us.

Nursery iconNursery stock

Nursery stock shipped out of a quarantine by a nursery or dealer must be treated or visually inspected and certified pest-free. Shippers must be operating under a compliance agreement with state or federal agriculture agencies prior to moving stock.

Christmas tree iconChristmas Trees

Trees cut in a spongy moth quarantined area must be treated during the growing season prior to shipping.  Growers operating under a compliance agreement are eligible to certify, document, and ship loads.

Wood iconLogs, Posts, Pulpwood, Bark and Bark Products

Shippers operating under a compliance agreement must document all loads leaving the quarantine and specify the destination.  Treat or remove any life stages found upon inspection.  Receivers of quarantined products must operate under a compliance agreement and follow the guidelines set within for processing procedures.