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White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

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Gypsy moth aerial treatment - MDA

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) gypsy moth aerial treatment project

Aerial Operation to Begin

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is preparing to treat four areas in North Eastern Minnesota to eradicate the Gypsy Moths detected last fall before they spread. The location of aerial operations will be the cities of Cloquet, Duluth, Two Harbors and for an isolated block along White Iron Lake in northern Lake County (See Map Below). On Monday June 4th, the MDA is planning to begin aerial operations beginning as early as 5:15AM!  At this time the MDA is planning to treat all four NE MN blocks starting that day. Treatments are weather dependent and may be delayed at any time. If the weather cooperates the MDA could complete the first round of applications in one day; ending operations around the noon hour on Monday.  However if weather is not ideal for completion on Monday, operations will commence at 5:15 am on Tuesday, June 5.

NOTES from the MDA:  

  • The MDA will be utilizing a fixed wing aircraft that will be very low flying, approximately only 50 feet above the tree tops.  It will be loud.
  • The product being applied is a biological, organic certified insecticide that can be used up to the date of harvest on feed and food crops.
    • Foray 48B, active ingredient: Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk).
  • It has no known health effects to humans, pets, birds, fish, livestock, and bees.
  • Residents can avoid the application by staying indoors during the treatment and keeping windows closed until a half hour after application. Any residue, which does not cause damage to outdoor items, can be removed with soapy water.
  • The low-flying fixed wing airplane will be traveling up to a half mile outside the treatment areas as it navigates through the gypsy moth infestation sites. Therefore, residents may see and hear the plane but will be outside the treatment areas. For the project the MDA will be utilizing two different aircraft.  Duluth: red/white aircraft, other blocks: yellow aircraft.

The MDA has been in contact with the local emergency management, including 911 dispatch in all three counties and the MN Poison Center to assure they too are aware of the project.  It is not uncommon during these low flying aerial projects for citizens to reach out to their local 911 dispatch.

To help area citizens stay informed, the MDA has set up an Arrest the Pest Info Line at 1-888-545-MOTH. The info line will offer the latest details about treatment dates and times.

The MDA's website ( also has information about gypsy moths, control efforts and the ability for individuals to sign up for an automatic email/text notifications.

This is the best way for citizens to follow the operational plan throughout the project.

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