The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is placing a gypsy moth-infested area in the Lowry Hill Neighborhood of Minneapolis under quarantine beginning July 1 after a neighborhood resident reported a large insect population. The quarantine will be in place until early next summer of 2018.
The MDA was contacted earlier this month by a resident in the neighborhood who suspected a gypsy moth infestation after he noticed caterpillars on trees. MDA staff conducted a survey and found thousands of gypsy moth caterpillars that had already started defoliating trees.
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 urban and natural forests. They feed on over 300 different types of trees and shrubs.
What does the temporary quarantine do?
- The quarantine restricts the movement of trees and woody material, including firewood, out of the area. Trees may be pruned, but all branches and woody material must be properly handled and moved by trained professionals. (even if limbs are chipped, gypsy moth eggs are still viable). Grass clippings can be removed from the area. Ostvig Tree is one of the only companies in the Twin Cities metro area that has been properly trained by the MDA to handle and dispose of Gyspy Moth material. Otherwise, any wooded products or branches need to stay within the quarantined area.
- The quarantine requires self-inspection of any equipment, household items, or vehicles that are sitting outside in the quarantined area and are being moved out of the quarantine. 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.
“This is one of the worst gypsy moth infestations I have seen,” said Kimberly Thielen Cremers, MDA’s Gypsy Moth Program Supervisor. “Trees and outdoor items are covered with caterpillars. We’re confident this insect came to Minneapolis through the movement of infested wood or outdoor items. This raises the importance of the quarantine. Residents can help contain this pest by not moving branches, firewood, or outdoor items out of the quarantined area.”
If you need tree work done within the quarantined area please call Ostvig Tree at 952-473-0534 or 651-653-9930. We will be able to help. Ostvig Tree Care is the only company qualified to handle gypsy moth material.