Trapping and survey work find reproducing moth population
- PAUL, Minn. – To help slow the spread of one of America’s most destructive tree pests, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today placed a gypsy moth-infested area in northwest Richfield under quarantine until next spring.
The quarantined area extends from the Crosstown Highway 62 on the north to West 67th Street on the south, and Washburn Avenue S. on the west to Logan Avenue S. on the east.
Earlier this year, the MDA discovered an infestation of gypsy moths in the quarantined area through its annual statewide trapping work. MDA staff then conducted a survey on foot and found numerous egg masses. This indicates an established and reproducing gypsy moth population. One egg mass can contain up to 500 gypsy moth eggs.
What does the temporary quarantine do?
- The quarantine restricts the movement of trees and woody material, including firewood, out of the area until June 15, 2017. Trees may be pruned, but all branches and woody material must stay on the property (even if limbs are chipped, gypsy moth eggs are still viable).
- The quarantine requires self-inspection of any equipment, household items, or vehicles that were sitting outside in the quarantined area during the summer months when gypsy moths are active and that are being moved out of the quarantined area. This includes items such as wood pallets, patio furniture, grills, and trampolines, as well as trucks, campers, and boats. Residents should look for gypsy moth egg masses which are brown, fuzzy blobs the size of a quarter. They should scrape the egg masses off the item or leave the item where it is.
“Because of the location of the gypsy moth infestation, we’re confident this insect came to Richfield through the movement of infested wood or outdoor items,” said Kimberly Thielen Cremers, MDA’s Gypsy Moth Program Supervisor. “This demonstrates the role humans play in spreading invasive species. That’s why it’s important for those in the quarantine area to help us contain this pest by not moving branches, firewood, or outdoor items out of the quarantined area.”
To provide more information, the MDA will be hosting an open house for residents and businesses in the area about the quarantine.
Wednesday, November 16, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Richfield Public Works Maintenance Facility
1901 E 66th Street
Richfield, MN 55423
Next spring, the MDA plans to treat the area for gypsy moth and will then lift the quarantine. The department will provide more information this winter about the proposed treatment, which is similar to those done in Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Edina in 2011, and Richfield in 2009.
Gypsy moths have caused millions of dollars in damage to forests in the eastern United States. The moths are common in Wisconsin and are now threatening Minnesota. If present in large numbers, gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. They feed on over 300 different types of trees and shrubs.
For more information regarding the quarantine or gypsy moth, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/gypsymoth or call the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684.
Source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture