Officials spray Duluth trees to slow gypsy month

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota officials sprayed over 1,000 acres of Duluth trees to try to slow the spread of the gypsy month.

Reports say the Minnesota Department of Agriculture sprayed insecticide Friday and plan to spray another 50,000 acres in the Duluth area next month.

The invasive moth has slowly munched its way westward since the European insect arrived in Boston in the 1800s, stripping leaves off oak, poplar, and 300 other species of trees and shrubs. It was first detected in Minnesota in Duluth in 1980.

Since then, the state has largely kept the pest at bay. But Kimberly Thielen Cremers, a pest mitigation supervisor for the state agriculture department, says the moth established reproducing populations in the Duluth area last year.

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