Minnesota agriculture officials say they aren't surprised by last week's discovery of a gypsy moth caterpillar in Duluth.
It's the first gypsy moth caterpillar found and identified in the state, but experts said Monday they know that the moths have been reproducing in Minnesota for years.
The gypsy moth is a widespread pest in the eastern U.S. and are known to defoliate large tracts of forest.
Lucy Hunt, the gypsy moth unit supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, said while the caterpillars are new, the gypsy moth egg mass has been found before.
"What this caterpillar has allowed us to do is put out more traps, so we will have a much clearer picture of what's going on [in Duluth]," she said.
Minnesota officials have used traps to track the spread of adult male gypsy moths thought to have blown into the state by winds. They're already treating parts of the North Shore to slow the breeding of the moths.