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Extension > Yard and Garden News > Gypsy Moth Quarantine in Minnesota

Gypsy Moth Quarantine in Minnesota

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

(The following has been slightly modified from a June 30, 2014 news release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Bill McNee, Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources

Photo 1: Lake and Cook counties are now under quarantine for gypsy moth

Due to the high number of gypsy moths trapped in northeast Minnesota in 2013, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has placed Lake and Cook counties under quarantine effective July 1, 2014.  This is the first time a quarantine for gypsy moth has been established in Minnesota.  A quarantine helps to prevent gypsy moths from being moved by human activity to uninfested counties.

Outdoor items in the quarantined counties, like logs and firewood, camping equipment and patio furniture, that could be infested with gypsy moth must be inspected and certified as gypsy moth-free before moving to a non-quarantined area. This is done in two ways:

  • Homeowners, campers and others who live in and visit the proposed quarantine will need to self-inspect outdoor household items, like RVs, camping equipment and patio furniture, before moving those items out of the quarantine.
  • A compliance agreement allows items regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including firewood, pulp wood, and saw logs, to move out of the quarantine area or to be received by a business or individual outside Lake and Cook counties. The compliance agreement outlines practices for safe handling, transportation and storage to mitigate the spread of gypsy moth. Compliance agreements are documents prepared and agreed to by the company, city, county, agency, or organization interested in moving the regulated article and the MDA, or USDA in the case of interstate movement.

The MDA has been tracking and treating gypsy moth in Minnesota for decades. Since April 2013, MDA staff has been in discussions with the timber and nursery industries, as well as local, state, federal, and tribal officials on a potential quarantine. When 2013 trapping results showed a record number of gypsy moths, 90 percent of which were located in Lake and Cook counties, an advisory group recommended a quarantine of the two northeastern most counties in the state to the Commissioner of Agriculture.

Details of the quarantine can be found at here.  For questions on gypsy moth or the quarantine, call MDA's Arrest the Pest Hotline at 888-545-6684 (voicemail) or email gypsy.moth@state.mn.us. 

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