DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is preparing to treat about 1,200 acres in Duluth to slow the spread of a gypsy moth infestation.
Depending on the weather, officials are set to conduct the treatment on Thursday.
Last year, the department's gypsy moth monitoring program detected a localized infestation of the destructive tree pest. The treatment area is located in West Duluth.
Officials plan to conduct two aerial applications of a bacterium over the same area, spaced five to 10 days apart. The bacterium has a low risk for humans or animals other than caterpillars.
As gypsy moth caterpillars eat the leaves, the insect ingests the bacterium, which stops the caterpillars from doing any more damage.
Gypsy moths have caused millions of dollars of damage to forests in the eastern U.S.