MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is enacted a temporary quarantine in Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill neighborhood to stop an infestation of gypsy moths in the area.
Earlier this month, MDA staff found thousands of gypsy moth caterpillars had already started defoliating trees in the neighborhood. Gypsy moths feed on over 300 different types of trees and shrubs. If present in large numbers, they can defoliate large sections of forests, causing millions of dollars in damage.
MDA officials say this is one of the worst gypsy moth infestations they have ever seen. The moths are common in Wisconsin and officials believe they made their way to Minneapolis through infested wood or outdoor items that were brought to the area.
The quarantined area extends from Mt. Curve Avenue on the north side to Franklin Avenue West on the south and Irving Avenue South on the west to Dupont Avenue South on the east.
Under the quarantine, no trees, wooded material such as firewood or outdoor items should be moved out of the area. Trees may be pruned, but the branch clippings and woody material must stay on the property until the quarantine is lifted.
Residents will also be required to inspect any outdoor equipment, wood pallets, patio furniture, grills, trampolines and vehicles such as trucks, campers and boats they are moving out of the quarantined area for gypsy moth egg masses. The eggs masses are typically brown fuzzy blobs the size of a quarter. If any items are found with egg masses, they would be either scraped off or the items should be left where they are.
Next year, the MDA plans to treat the area for gypsy moths. The quarantine will be lifted sometime next summer.
Lowry Hill residents can attend an open house on Tuesday, July 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Kenwood Community Center to learn more about the quarantine.
If you believe you may have a gypsy moth infestation in your area, contact the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.