June 17, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is planning a second treatment to eradicate a gypsy moth infestation in Cloquet and Duluth. Officials plan to conduct the treatments on Friday, June 18 as early as 5 a.m. in Duluth followed by Cloquet. It will take approximately two-and-a-half hours to complete both areas. This schedule is dependent on weather conditions at the time.

The MDA uses a low-flying airplane which will be traveling up to a half mile outside the treatment area as it navigates through the gypsy moth infestation sites. The MDA apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the noise of the plane.

The Duluth site is approximately 630 acres in the New Duluth Neighborhood, from House Street to the St. Louis River and extending west of Commonwealth Avenue/Highway 23. The Cloquet site encompasses approximately 400 acres of the Sappi mill property.

The treatment product, Foray/Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk), is a biological product that is certified organic for food crops. It has no known health effects for humans, pets, birds, fish, livestock, bees, and other non-caterpillar insects. However, residents can avoid it by staying indoors during the treatment and keeping windows closed until a half hour after application. Residents can cover gardens or turn on sprinklers during the treatment if they wish. Any residue, which does not cause damage to outdoor items, can be removed with soapy water.

The MDA has set up an Arrest the Pest Info Line at 1-888-545-MOTH with the latest details about treatment date and time. On the morning of the treatment, residents can call the phone number with any questions they may have. Simply press 0 (zero) to speak to someone. The MDA's website (www.mda.state.mn.us/gmtreatments) also has information about gypsy moths and control efforts. Residents can sign up for updates about treatment progress by texting “MDA DULUTH” to 468311 to receive text notifications or texting “MDA DULUTH [your email address here]” to 468311 to receive email notifications.

Details of treatment areas:

Cloquet: Approximately 400 acres of the Sappi Cloquet Mill property.

Duluth: A 631-acre area in the New Duluth Neighborhood that runs from House Street to the St. Louis River and extends west of Commonwealth Avenue/Highway 23. (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 treatment.


Media Contact
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications