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Minn. DNR: Cool Spring May be Slowing Forest Tent Caterpillars

Updated: 06/10/2014 11:28 PM
Created: 06/10/2014 10:20 PM WDIO.com

Forest Tent Caterpillars are chewing on leaves across the Northland once again. But the Minnesota DNR says there are fewer than expected.

DNR experts say the cool, wet spring may have slowed the native pest, but they could still defoliate about 1 million acres - similar to last year.

Forest specialists say this could be a sign that were past the peak of the outbreak, but there is no guarantee. 

"Don't get your hopes up," Mike Albers, a forest health specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "But it's at least positive if we don't see our acreage of defoliation continue to climb like we have in past outbreaks."

Albers says the gorging caterpillars don't usually kill trees and leaves generally fill back in by mid-July. 

You can find tips to deal with the nuisance in your backyard on the Minnesota DNR website by clicking here.

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