Plant Pest Insider Newsletter - February 14, 2022

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A Newsletter from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

February 14, 2022

Managing Invasive Moths in Northeast Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are proposing to treat gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) infestations this spring at four sites in the northeastern part of the state.

The four proposed treatment areas include approximately 75 acres in the city of Duluth, nearly 500 acres in the city of Cloquet, and two areas in Lake County totaling approximately 45,100 acres (Two Harbors NE area and Upland Trail area). Residents can view an interactive map on the MDA website to determine if they’re located within one of the proposed blocks. The treatments will be conducted in June and July, depending on insect development and weather. Residents in proposed treatment areas are invited to a virtual meeting to learn more about the insect and the treatment methods.

Lake County Virtual Meetings, Tuesday, February 15

10:00 - 11:00 AM Register to attend the day session

6:30 - 7:30 PM Register to attend the evening session

Cloquet and Duluth Virtual Meetings, Tuesday, February 22

10:00 - 11:00 AM Register to attend the day session

6:30 - 7:30 PM Register to attend the evening session

Gypsy Moth Name Background Information

As of July 2021, the Entomological Society of America discontinued the use of “gypsy moth” as a common name for Lymantria dispar. A new common name has not yet been selected. The changes will need to be reconciled in accordance with federal and state regulations. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is committed to phasing out the discontinued common name and adopting the new common name when available.

Moth insect with eggs on conifer branch.

What insect has been crawling inside my home?

During times of warm weather this winter, you may have noticed a few insects active in your home. Some examples of these insects include box elder bugs, lady beetles, and the invasive brown marmorated stink bug. The MDA is tracking brown marmorated stink bugs throughout the state and would like you to report if you see them outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties).

Please take a clear picture of the insect or collect the insect for identification. More information on how to report can be found on the Report a Pest webpage. 

Two insects outside.

Field Workshops: Emerald Ash Borer

Please join Minnesota Department of Agriculture staff at one of our free emerald ash borer (EAB) field workshop training sessions being held at multiple locations throughout the state. These hour-long outdoor workshops will provide an opportunity to get a firsthand look at EAB-infested trees and will assist the community in becoming familiar with early detection. Workshops are free of charge through support from the US Forest Service. Hour-long sessions will be held most days at 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, and 1:00 PM.

EAB Topics Covered

Life cycle, host trees, recognizing EAB, progression of symptoms, distribution, quarantines, cold mortality, insecticides, biological control agents, biosurveillance, management approaches, reporting trees and visual inspection of on-site EAB-infested ash trees.


  • Dress for the weather as the workshops are held entirely outside
  • Bring a pair of binoculars if you have them
  • Cancellations due to severe weather only
  • No restroom facilities are available on-site at most locations. Please plan accordingly
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Provided (1.0 credits) for ISA Certified Arborists

Dates & Locations of Workshops

Ash tree with bark removed to show emerald ash borer feeding damage.

Grant Opportunity: Lawns to Legumes

The Lawns to Legumes pilot program offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides, and cost-share funding (individual support grants) for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. The program also includes demonstration neighborhoods, which are pollinator programs run by local governments and nonprofit organizations with support from Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), and a public education campaign to raise awareness about creating pollinator habitat. BWSR is partnering with Metro Blooms and Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water to administer the program. Find details on Individual Support Grants, Demonstration Neighborhoods, public outreach, and more can be found on the BWSR Lawns to Legumes website.

Funding is provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) and is targeted in priority areas to benefit the Rusty patched bumblebee and other at-risk species. 

Applications will be accepted through February 15, 2022.

Lawns 2 Legumes logo with pollinators on flowers

Job Opportunity

Forest Pest Surveyor (Agricultural Technician) positions with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are now posted on the State of Minnesota Careers website:  These fun, temporary positions are appealing for students looking for career path steppingstones to retirees looking for fulfilling temporary work! Surveyors work independently and outdoors in an assigned route as part of the statewide survey crew to set, inspect, and remove pheromone-baited traps and collect data to detect and slow the spread of this invasive pest into Minnesota.

  • The job post is available for applications through March 1, 2022.
  • Search for keywords “forest pest”, or Job I.D. 52276.
Woman holding a tablet outside next to a tree with an insect trap attached to it.

Weed of the Month: 2021 New County Finds of Prohibited Eradicate Noxious Weeds

A noxious weed is defined by the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law as an annual, biennial, or perennial plant that the Commissioner of Agriculture designates to be injurious to public health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock, or other property. Noxious weeds are categorized into four regulatory categories: Prohibited Eradicate, Prohibited Control, Restricted, and Specially Regulated. The highest priority weeds are Prohibited Eradicate. To prevent these species from becoming widespread throughout the state, the law states that all above and below ground plant parts of Prohibited Eradicate species must be destroyed.

Collaboration with multiple agencies, organizations, and private landowners throughout the state helps the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) successfully detect Prohibited Eradicate noxious weeds. In 2021, six Prohibited Eradicate species were confirmed for the first time in 14 counties.

Read More

Flowering plant outside

Purchasing Seeds? Read the Label

All seed sold in Minnesota must be labeled with some key pieces of information whether it comes in a bag, a tote, or a packet. The process of labeling not only establishes what is in the container, but also what is not, such as prohibited noxious weed seeds like Palmer amaranth.

Seed labelers are responsible for having seed lots tested to ensure that noxious weed seeds are not present above acceptable levels and for determining the germination rate that can be expected of the seed. Seed labelers must maintain records and samples of tested seed lots to document that this process has occurred and that the information on the label is accurate.

While seed sold for agricultural use has more labeling requirements than seed sold for hobby use, both should have a test date or "sell by" date which is not expired.

Visit the MDA website to learn more about seed labeling requirements and how these are enforced by the MDA.

Woman looking at a seed packet in a retail store.

Shade Tree Short Course

Discuss, debate, and disseminate best practices on all things shade tree with fellow arborists at this two-day conference. The Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course has been ensuring tree health since 1963. The MDA will be presenting tree diseases, invasive insects, noxious weeds, and more at the 2022 Virtual Shade Tree Short Course. 

March 15-16, 2022

Read More

Shade Tree Short Course logo

Support Your Community with Minnesota Green Corps

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications from organizations interested in hosting a Minnesota GreenCorps member for the 2022-2023 program year. Projects that focus on supporting areas of increased concern for environmental justice will be given priority. See the EJ Story map on the MPCA website for more information.

Potential member activities could include:

  • Reducing vehicle miles traveled in vulnerable neighborhoods through biking and walking initiatives
  • Capturing and re-distributing food to community members in need
  • Helping facilitate the equitable distribution of tree canopy through community planting events
  • Promoting environmental best practices through community educational campaigns

Eligible host organizations include government entities, educational institutions, and nonprofits. Members serve from September to August on projects focused on air pollutant reduction, community readiness and outreach, green infrastructure improvements and forestry, or waste reduction, recycling, and organics management.

Applications are due Tuesday, March 22, 2022, by 5:00 p.m. 

Visit to learn more and download application materials. Please direct questions to

Minnesota Green Corps logo and AmeriCorps logo

Invasive Species Awareness Week: February 28 - March 4

The North American Invasive Species Management Association organizes the National Invasive Species Awareness Week as an international event to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread. Educational webinars are available during the week and visit the website for more information.


MDA Certified Heat Treated Firewood logo VOID

Minnesota Certified Firewood

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has certified 12 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 damaging pests, like emerald ash borer.

Certified firewood producers:

  • Emily Forest Products / Katie's Firewood
  • Minnesota Firewood LLC
  • Moonlight Firewood
  • Northstar Hardwoods Inc.
  • Paul's Fireplace Wood Inc.
  • Price Firewood
  • Pro Cut Firewood
  • Stoked Firewood
  • Sunset Firewood Company
  • TSL Firewood
  • WLC Firewood
  • Wood Chuckers Firewood LLC
Arrest the Pest logo

Now Available: New online reporting form