Parks & Recreation

Gypsy Moth

Gypsy moth is an invasive insect that was introduced to North America from Europe. Gypsy moth is a destructive pest that feeds on hardwood trees and shows a strong preference for oak and aspen.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has monitored gypsy moth populations in our state through a trapping program. The traps are a green, triangular box baited with a pheromone specific to gypsy moths. In the summer these traps can be seen hung in trees around Duluth and throughout the State. The number of gypsy moths caught in an area help determine future control efforts.

The MDA has taken proactive measures to control the spread of gypsy moth. When populations become high enough, counties are quarantined. Currently, only Cook and Lake Counties are quarantined in Minnesota. Prior to establishing a quarantine, efforts are made to control the population through pheromone disruption or applying Btk, an organic pesticide specific to moths.

Results from gypsy moth trapping last year in Duluth showed elevated populations in the Lakeside neighborhood. The MDA has decided to spray Btk in Lakeside to prevent that population from growing

Btk is a naturally occurring bacterium that is found in soils throughout the world, is organic and safe to humans and pets. The MDA has a question and answer page concerning Btk and its application. Learn more about Btk HERE.

Upcoming Public Open House

The MDA will host a public open house from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. on March 1, 2018 to share information with citizens about the threat gypsy moths pose to the environment and how officials plan to protect the urban forest. A presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Meeting details:

Thursday, March 1, 2018 
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. 
Faith Lutheran Church, lower level (wheelchair accessible) 
1814 N 51st Ave. 
Duluth, MN 55804