MDA gypsy moth treatments in Winona and Houston counties set for the week of Monday, June 29

ST. PAUL , Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will conduct gypsy moth suppression treatments in Winona and Houston counties starting Monday morning, June 29, assuming weather conditions remain favorable. The treatments should be completed by Thursday.

Treatments will be conducted in four blocks totaling 37,029 acres. The first block is a 5,259-acre area to the south and west of the city of Winona. The second block is a 16,124-acre area southeast of Winona along the Mississippi River. The third block comprises 1,730 acres near Hart Township , and the fourth block includes 13,916 acres in northwestern Houston County . For more details, including a map showing the locations of these blocks, visit the MDA website at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/gmtreatments.htm.

Each block will be treated once by airplane. The blocks will receive an aerial application of SPLAT, a product that disrupts the ability of male moths to locate females. The disruption reduces the moths’ ability to reproduce and sustain a local population. The product is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a low-risk pesticide, and the pheromone used in mating disruption treatments is specific to gypsy moths. It does not affect other animals.

The treatment product has no known health effects for humans or pets, but to avoid it residents may wish to stay indoors during the treatment. The residue will not damage a vehicle’s finish, but residents may wish to park vehicles indoors to avoid having to wash them after the application. Soapy water will remove any residue on outdoor items.

The treatment program is operated by MDA in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

To help area citizens stay informed, the MDA’s Arrest the Pest Hotline at 651-201-MOTH offers the latest details about treatment. The MDA’s website also has information including a link to the Environmental Assessment completed for the project.

CONTACT: Michael Schommer, MDA Communications, 651-201-6629

www.mda.state.mn.us/news/releases/2009/nr-2009-06-26-gmsoutheast.htm

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