ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Officials will set more than 14,000 gypsy moth traps across Minnesota this spring as part of the state's annual monitoring program for the destructive tree pest.
Gypsy moth caterpillars eat the leaves of many trees and shrubs. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says they favor oak, poplar, birch and willow. Severe, repeated infestations can kill trees, especially when they're already stressed by drought.
Northeastern Minnesota is again expected to be a hot spot, although the Twin Cities area is also considered to be at high risk.
Minnesota's early warning system is a low-tech network of small, cardboard traps set on trees or poles across the state. The cardboard traps contain a pheromone to lure in male gypsy moths. Once inside the trap, the moths become stuck to the sticky interior.