Updated: 03/13/2014 4:12 PM
Created: 03/13/2014 4:05 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
This summer in Duluth the fight against gypsy moths is being taken to the sky. A meeting in West Duluth Thursday brought state officials to the area to answer questions about their management plan.
"They're just kind of infiltrating the Duluth area," Lucia Hunt, with the MN Department of Agriculture, said. "That's when our treatment works best. When we have low-level population."
Hunt said they'll be spraying scent flakes over most of Duluth and north of Ely sometime this summer. That's meant to confuse the male's direction capabilities so they can't find females to reproduce.
In a smaller area of West Duluth, they'll be spraying a bacteria called BTK to kill caterpillars.
"That bacteria doesn't react to our systems the same way it reacts with caterpillars," Hunt said. "So, it's not toxic to humans, mammals or pets."
If you want to play it safe, Hunt said you can close windows during the spraying and stay indoors 30 minutes after.
While the fight is on, the effects of the gypsy moths haven't been felt yet in the city.
"I haven't seen any of the effects of the defoliation," Larry Sampson said.
Sampson works for the Superior Hiking Trail. He said the spraying isn't disruptive.
"I've been on the trail with volunteers with the planes flying over head," Sampson said. "All we do is see the planes flying over low. We don't feel anything; we don't see anything."
"The whole strategy is about slowing the spread of the gypsy moth," Hunt said. "It will come eventually, but the more we can do to slow and delay that the better off we all are."
In Lake and Cook counties, the public comment period closed for the proposed quarantine. The Department of Agriculture wants to start that quarantine on April 30.
Northlanders Work To Improve MN Child Protective Services
After a Minnesota boy died despite 15 reports of child abuse, Governor Mark Dayton organized a task force to improve the system and protect our kids. The group visited Duluth Wednesday for input from people in northeastern Minnesota.
Minnesota 'On the Edge' of Controlling Zebra Mussel Spread
The Department of Natural Resources has been working to stop the spread of zebra mussels in Northland lakes for years, and one local expert says they're on the edge of success.
Request Denied to Remove Judge on Peterson Case
A prosecution request to remove the judge handling the felony child abuse case against Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson has been denied.
Bilingual Signs on FDL Reservation Preserve Anishinaabe Culture
Two new bilingual signs have been put up in St. Louis County, to show the English and Ojibwe names of lakes.
Wade Stadium Gets New and Improved AstroTurf
New AstroTurf has been installed at Wade Stadium, and crews will be finishing up the final touches in the coming days. The turf means there won't be the need to water and fertilize the field next year.