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Spongy moth control in Minnesota announced

Spongy moth control in Minnesota announced

By Scout Nelson

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced plans for aerial management activities to tackle spongy moth infestations in Carlton and St. Louis Counties. Detected last fall, these infestations will be addressed with two rounds of aerial treatments, beginning the week of June 10.

Treatment timing is subject to change based on weather and insect development stages. The MDA encourages residents to stay informed through real-time updates available via text and email notifications.

Residents can register for these updates by texting "MNMDA Treatments" to 66468 or signing up online.

The affected areas include six locations in Carlton County, predominantly in its eastern part, and one near Meadowlands in St. Louis County. Details and maps are accessible on the MDA's website.

Residents might observe a low-flying plane early in the morning during the treatments, which are scheduled to start at 5 a.m. and may span several days.

The treatment involves Foray/Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk), a biologically based product safe for humans, pets, and most wildlife, and is certified for use on organic food crops. A second application will follow 5-14 days after the initial one.

For additional information, residents can contact the MDA’s Report a Pest Info Line at 1-888-545-MOTH. On treatment days, pressing 0 connects callers directly with a representative for assistance.

Residents in the treatment areas are advised to stay indoors and keep windows closed during and shortly after spray applications. Although the treatment leaves no harmful residues, any residue on outdoor items can be washed off with soapy water.

Spongy moths pose a significant threat to American forestry, particularly favoring oak, poplar, birch, and willow trees. Without management, these pests are capable of extensive defoliation, leading to severe ecological and economic damage.

The MDA remains proactive in containing this threat and minimizing its spread, which can be worsened by human activities such as the movement of firewood.

For questions or more details about the spongy moth and upcoming treatments, contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 1-888-545-6684 or

Photo Credit -gettyimages-ian-redding

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