Gypsy Moth Treatments in 2002

Even though there are no permanent populations of gypsy moths in the state, several small isolated populations require treatment to keep the moth from becoming established. Planning for the treatments to be carried out in May and June is progressing well with special attention being paid to safety. In the Metro area, one 425 acre site just south of Lake Harriett and one 1840 acre site at the intersection of Highways 100 and 394 will receive two applications of Bt in May. Bt is a biological insecticide formulated from a bacteria found naturally in the soil. In Houston County, the 650 acre site will receive an application of pheromone flakes in June. Pheromone flakes are plastic chads impregnated with the female sex attractant. The flakes inundate the area with the pheromone, confusing the males and disrupting normal mating. This is the fist time the state has used this treatment, but it has gained wide support in Wisconsin and elsewhere. The Houston County site provides an excellent opportunity to test the use of pheromone flakes under MN conditions. For more details about the planned treatments, go to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Homeowners' Guide to Gypsy Moths or call 651-201-6684 or 1-800-545-6684.