billboardBillboard Test Page Here’s the buzz: Aerial moth attack early Sunday in Duluth Airplanes may wake Central Hillside residents Sunday morning as they try to nip gypsy moth outbreak. Airplanes for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will be flying low over eastern Duluth Sunday morning spraying a chemical that’s hoped to kill and invasive gypsy moth caterpillars in the area.
The planes, which will be loud, will start the effort about 5:30 a.m. and thorough about 7:30 a.m. when conditions are calmest. If it is too windy, rainy or cloudy the spraying may be delayed.
About 342 acres in the Central Hillside area – roughly from Sixth to 17th Avenues East between Skyline Drive and East Fourth Street -- is being targeted for treatment with Btk, a naturally occurring soil fungus that kills gypsy moth caterpillars but is benign to people and other animals.
This was the neighborhood where, last summer, a local expert found a living gypsy moth caterpillar, so far the only one found in Minnesota and a likely sign the insect is reproducing here. Flying gypsy months have been found in several areas of Northeastern Minnesota over the past several years but there had been no sign of egg clusters, caterpillars or defoliation.
State officials say the sprayed material won’t harm pets or vehicle finishes, but suggest keeping pets indoors to avoid being spooked and to keep cars garaged or wash them with soapy water after to remove any residue left from the spray. They also suggest leaving windows closed during the spraying to keep the residue out of your home.
Gypsy months have been working their way west across the U.S. after being accidentally introduced in North American in the 1800s. They have become entrenched as near as eastern Wisconsin, but state and federal agencies still are conducting an aerial assault on the moth’s front line which now has moved directly into the Northland.
The moth can cause massive defoliation, and kill trees that already are stressed. It can hit most any tree but favorite targets are oak, aspen (poplar) and birch.
The same type of aerial spraying occurred this week in Ashland and Bayfield Counties.
Later this summer, another aerial attack may drop synthetic pheromone chips to confuse male moths so they can’t find females to mate.
For more information call (888) 545-6684.
Tags: updates, news