Plant Pest Insider Newsletter - June 23, 2020

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A Newsletter from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

June 23, 2020

Plant Pest Surveys Throughout Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Plant Protection Division conducts a variety of early detection pest surveys across the state. Many seasonal staff are currently looking for invasive plants, insect pests, and diseases statewide. Agricultural fields, fruit farms, forests, and neighborhoods are just a few of the areas the MDA is surveying.

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Survey in apple orchard

Emerald ash borer adult beetle

Emerald Ash Borer Look-alikes

There are many green insects found in Minnesota that look similar to emerald ash borer (EAB). The MDA has received many reports of tiger beetles being mistaken for EAB. Please take a look at the EAB Look-alike Reference to help determine if a green insect you are seeing is EAB. 

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Don't Move Firewood! billboard

Gypsy Moth Treatments Completed

The MDA conducted three gypsy moth treatments in Minnesota this spring. The 298 acre Minneapolis treatment was completed in May, and the 1,620 acre Hokah and 1,420 acre Oak Center treatments were completed in early June. 

The MDA conducts an extensive monitoring survey for gypsy moth each year as part of the national Slow the Spread Program. The survey identifies areas where gypsy moth populations are building and can be reduced or eradicated with treatments. 

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Gypsy moth treatment plane

Plane applying a Gypsy moth treatment in Minnesota.

Asian Longhorned Beetle Look-alikes - Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

Asian Longhorn Beetle Found in South Carolina

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in South Carolina. A homeowner in Hollywood, SC, found a dead beetle on their property, reported it, and officials began surveying for infested trees in the area.  

ALB has never been found in Minnesota. With every invasive pest there is the potential that it is already present in the state. If you see an insect that could be ALB, please collect the insect and contact Arrest the Pest

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MDA's ALB Webpage

Viburnum Leaf Beetle Found Throughout Twin Cities Metro

Last year the MDA confirmed viburnum leaf beetle (VLB), Pyrrhalta viburni, in Eden Prairie and has since found it in more cities throughout the Twin Cities metro area. This insect feeds exclusively on species of viburnum and can defoliate the plants. Repeated defoliation weakens the plant over time and can eventually kill the viburnum plant. Viburnum leaf beetles are native to Europe and are known to occur in the northeastern United States and Wisconsin. 

The presence of "skeletonized" defoliation (only leaf veins remain) on viburnum may indicate the presence of viburnum leaf beetle. The MDA has already received several new reports of VLB feeding damage this Spring. Contact Arrest the Pest if you see skeletonized defoliation on your viburnum. 

If you are thinking about planting a viburnum consider planting resistant varieties provided by Cornell University

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Viburnum leaf beetle feeding damage

Skeletonized viburnum leaves in the Twin Cities metro area. Sarah Hobbie, 2020.

Lily Leaf Beetle

Now is the time to be on the lookout for the red or scarlet lily leaf beetle, Lilioceris lilii. This insect was first reported in North America in eastern Canada during World War II and was most likely introduced in shipments of plant materials from Europe. Lily leaf beetle was found in New England in the 1990s and has been moving westward since that time. It was first found in Wisconsin in 2014 and had spread to 12 counties at the end of 2019. There have been an additional four new county finds in 2020. Lily leaf beetle will be appearing in Minnesota soon if it is not here already. The larvae cause the most damage to plants, but both adults and larvae chew irregular holes and notches in lily leaves, stems, and developing buds. When feeding damage is severe, lily leaf beetles can completely defoliate plants and destroy flowers.

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Lily leaf beetle adult insect on lily plant

Lily leaf beetle adult insect. Mariusz Sobieski,

Palmer amaranth plant in a soybean field

Weed of the Month Series

The MDA has a catalog of past Weed of the Month articles if you have missed any. You can also sign up to receive a direct email when the next Weed of the Month comes out. 

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June 22-28 is National Pollinator Week

Did you know that pollinators like bees, butterflies, and bats, provide one out of three bites of food we eat? Say thanks by planting native plants, supporting local farmers,
and educating others about the importance of pollinators!

Check out stewardship guidelines and best management practices developed by the MDA to create and improve pollinator habitat.

2020 Pollinator Poster

Coronavirus Recommendations

The MDA has prepared many recommendations for citizens, staff, and employers in relation to growing and selling plants safely. 

To find a local farmers market, U-pick farm, or other Minnesota grown products, please visit the Minnesota Grown directory. For more information on COVID-19 in Minnesota please visit

Stay Safe Minnesota logo

International Year of Plant Health logo

2020 Year of Plant Health

The United Nations declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.

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MDA Certified Heat Treated Firewood logo VOID

Minnesota Certified Firewood

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has certified eight firewood producers in the state of Minnesota for heat treatment of firewood. Look for the logo when purchasing firewood. It means the firewood is safe to move and is free of emerald ash borer.

Certified firewood producers:

  • Emily Forest Products
  • JN Firewood
  • Paul's Fireplace Wood Inc. 
  • Price Firewood
  • Sunset Firewood Company
  • TSL Firewood
  • Wood Chuckers Firewood LLC
  • Leroy Habiger "The Firewood Man"
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