ST. PAUL (AP) -- A cold spring and aggressive eradication efforts helped Minnesota again keep one of the nation's most voracious tree-eaters at bay.
Only 182 Gypsy moths were caught in a statewide network of 16,500 pheromone-baited traps this year, according to a survey by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. That's a third fewer than were found the year before.
"The survey results show that Minnesota has no established populations of Gypsy moths, and our control program is winning the battle," said program coordinator Peter Dziuk.
On the East Coast, the foliage-feasting moth caterpillars have devastated entire forests. The pests prefer poplar, birch and oak trees but will even devour evergreens when they appear in numbers.
They've been slowly eating their way into the Upper Midwest, with populations appearing in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Despite the good news in the state, the fight continues.
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