Gypsy Moth Caterpillars Invading Minneapolis Lowry Hill Neighborhood

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lowry Hill may be an inviting neighborhood in Minneapolis, but recently some unwelcome guests have targeted this community.

“It’s pretty annoying, actually,” said Brian Goers, who lives in Lowry Hill.

Over the last couple of weeks, Brian Goers realized that gypsy moth caterpillars have made themselves at home on his property.

“You see them around and they crawl on the side of the house and garage,” Goers said.

He’s noticed the insects on a large oak in his backyard and the destruction they leave behind.

“Just a lot of stuff coming out of the trees, chewing up the leaves a bit and we’ve seen bits and pieces of them coming off,” Goers said.

Brian isn’t the only homeowner seeing the infestation. The caterpillars were found on at least two other properties, which points to a major problem, according to Geir Friisoe of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

“The damage can be severe. This is one of the single worst forest pests that the country has ever experienced,” Friisoe said.

Twenty square blocks of the neighborhood are now under quarantine, meaning homeowners have to keep wood products such as branches, bark and firewood on their property.

The boundaries are as follows:

North boundary: Mount Curve Ave.

East boundary: Dupont Ave S.

South boundary W Franklin Ave.

West Boundary Irving Ave. S.

“We’re trying to make sure there’s no movement of potentially infested material,” Friisoe said.

The MDA is already working to get the infestation under control.  Several trees have burlap around the trunk to catch the caterpillars, and several traps are hanging from trees to catch the moths.

Further treatment is expected at a later date, when experts with the MDA determine the extent of the gypsy moth population in the area.

“We have very good management and treatment options for it,” Friisoe said. “The good part is this infestation has been identified fairly early.”

The MDA will host an open house about the quarantine this Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Kenwood Community Center.

More from Rachel Slavik
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