Gypsy moth treatment proposed in Esko

The moths are among the country's most destructive tree pests, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says.

File: Gypsy moth
A gypsy moth caterpillar sits on a tree leaf. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota Department of Agriculture)

Esko may receive gypsy moth treatment this spring, according to a proposal from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The community is among 13 areas in eastern Minnesota proposed for treatment of gypsy moth infestations, including parts of Carlton, St. Louis and Lake counties.

The moths are among the country's most destructive tree pests, the MDA said in a news release. Gypsy moth caterpillars, which can defoliate large sections of forest, are common in Wisconsin and are now moving into Minnesota.

“The gypsy moth is a serious threat and has the potential to negatively impact our timber, nursery and tourism industries, and be a public nuisance during major outbreaks,” Kimberly Thielen Cremers, supervisor of MDA’s Pest Mitigation Unit, said in the release. “To protect our natural resources, we need to slow gypsy moth’s spread into Minnesota.”

When an infestation is found, the department conducts aerial or ground treatment using an organic insecticide and targets the infestation before it can spread. The 13 treatments totaling 136,400 acres are proposed in Carlton, Hennepin, Houston, Lake, St. Louis, Wabasha and Winona counties.


(Map courtesy of Minnesota Department of Agriculture)

In Esko, MDA has proposed applying mating disruption treatments to 19,839 acres.

According to the MDA, aircraft can begin mating disruption treatments in the early morning and they may continue into the evening, weather permitting. The plane flies over the treatment block, making several passes about 100-200 feet above the treetops.

Residents may notice a fine mist on the surface of their vehicles from SPLAT GM-O. Soapy water will remove the residue. SPLAT GM-O has no known health effects on humans or pets, the MDA said.

Residents in all proposed treatment areas will receive a postcard with more information.

Details about treatments, notifications, maps and address lookup are available at .

Comments on proposed treatments will be accepted through April 18 via email at or mail written comments to: Kimberly Thielen Cremers Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert St. N., St. Paul, MN 55155.

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