MDA planning gypsy moth eradication treatment for Ely area in 2016

Public information meeting set for February 22

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are planning to tackle a gypsy moth infestation in Ely this spring. In anticipation of the treatments, the department is inviting people to learn about the effort at an open house to be held February 22.

Ranked among America’s most destructive tree pests, gypsy moth has caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as it has spread from New England to Wisconsin in recent decades. Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. The pests are common in Wisconsin and are now establishing themselves in Minnesota.

The MDA maintains a monitoring program to watch for start-up infestations, and when an infestation is found, the department conducts aerial treatments to eradicate the infestation before it can spread. In 2015, the MDA found an infestation covering portions of the city of Ely. The department is now developing a treatment plan for an affected area totaling approximately 565 acres. Details of the area can be found at

The MDA will host an open house to share information with citizens about the threat gypsy moths pose to the environment, and how officials plan to protect forested areas.

Monday, February 22, 2016
5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Ely City Hall
209 E Chapman Street,
Ely, MN 55731

Over the years, the MDA has successfully treated dozens of gypsy moth infestations across eastern Minnesota from Grand Portage to the Twin Cities to Houston County. These successful treatments help postpone the full-scale invasion of gypsy moth, saving local communities and homeowners money and protecting the health of the state’s urban and natural forests.

For more information on the proposed treatments, go to