March 18, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are planning to tackle gypsy moth infestations this spring at 13 sites across the eastern part of the state.

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 gypsy moth is a serious threat and has the potential to negatively impact our timber, nursery, and tourism industries, and be a public nuisance during major outbreaks,” said Kimberly Thielen Cremers, supervisor of MDA’s Pest Mitigation Unit. “To protect our natural resources, we need to slow gypsy moth’s spread into Minnesota.”

The MDA monitors for gypsy moth each year, watching for start-up infestations. When an infestation is found, the department conducts aerial or ground treatments using an organic insecticide and targets the infestation before it can spread. The 13 treatments totaling 136,400 acres are proposed in Carlton, Hennepin, Houston, Lake, St. Louis, Wabasha, and Winona counties. These areas include portions of the cities of Brownsville, Duluth, Minneapolis, Proctor, Two Harbors, and Winona. The treatments will be conducted from May though July, depending on insect development and weather. (SEE MAP)

Residents in each of the 13 proposed treatment areas will be receiving a postcard with more information. Citizens can also find info on gypsy moth treatments, text or email notifications, maps, and an address look-up at

Comments on any of the proposed treatments are being accepted through April 18, 2021. Comments should be submitted in writing via mail or email to:
Kimberly Thielen Cremers
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155

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. 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.


Media Contact
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications