Gypsy Moth Fight Coming To Duluth, Ely This Summer

Updated: 03/13/2014 4:12 PM
Created: 03/13/2014 4:05 PM
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.

MN Department of Agriculture
MN Department of Agriculture

Front Page

  • Charge Against Woman in Arrest Video Dismissed

    A judge has dismissed a charge against a woman seen in a video of a controversial Superior arrest.  At a hearing Friday, Judge Kelly Thimm approved a motion to dismiss a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against Natasha Lancour.

  • Justin's 2014-2015 Winter Prediction

    Winter is right around the corner and the question on everybody's mind is will we have a winter like last year.  With record stretches of cold and record snowfall last year is one we one like to forget. Chief meteorologist Justin Liles lets us know what we can expect this year

  • Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout was found Unresponsive in House Fire Day Before

    A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. On Tuesday, authorities say that same woman was found by her neighbors unresponsive and not breathing after they saw flames coming from a downtown Lake Nebagamon home. 

  • Funding for Military Funeral Personnel Restored

    On Thursday, Rep. Rick Nolan received a letter from the Secretary of the Army that funding for the playing of "Taps," a rifle salute, and delivering a folded American flag will be restored.

  • Preparing for Ebola: Health System Working Together

    People who work in the Northland's health system are communicating on a regular basis, to prepare for Ebola, even though it's unlikely to appear here.