North Shore gypsy moth study to begin in July

Starting the week of July 8th, the MN Cooperative Gypsy Moth Program and the Natural Resource Research Institute (NRRI) will be initiating a pilot study to explore the effect of temperature on moth flight. The study will involve releasing sterilized male moths for recapture at three forested sites northwest of Duluth. Triangular traps containing the female sex attractant will be placed in grids of varying densities to monitor the rate of capture and flight distances as a function of temperature.

The moths are irradiated while in the pupal stage to sterilize them. Between 300 and 500 male moths will be released at each site over a period of weeks. Only sterilized male moths will be released. This eliminates the possibility of mating and establishment as a result of this study. The traps to be used are identical to those used by the MN Department of Agriculture and USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service as part of their annual monitoring program. If you see gypsy moth traps in the area, please leave them alone, as your scent can influence trap results and thus our ability to monitor the moth and protect the state's resources against this potentially damaging pest.

Watch for details of the study in next month's newsletter.