Record number of moths captured
A record 69,400 gypsy moths have been trapped in Minnesota this year – a number that will continue to climb as Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) staff collect the 14,500 insect traps set out this spring. The previous record high was 27,858 in 2009.
Trapping is not meant to control the insect population, but counting the number of moths caught in the traps gives MDA officials a sense of the size and location of the gypsy moth population.
The gypsy moth has caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as it has spread from New England westward. The MDA, along with state and federal partners, have battled the invasive pest for nearly 40 years. Searches for the insect, through the use of traps, began in 1973. The first treatment for gypsy moth was done in 1980 in St. Paul. Since then, over 767,000 acres have been treated across the state – mostly in northern Minnesota.
Over the next several weeks MDA staff will search for reproducing gypsy moth populations. Officials will also continue to control the gypsy moth population with the biocontrol agent Entomophaga maimaiga.
More details can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/gypsymoth.