Pesky insect spreading in Northern Minnesota

Pesky insect spreading in Northern Minnesota Click to Enlarge Photo:

May 25, 2012 at 7:39 am

ST. PAUL, MN (KNSI) - Bug experts say there's a new invader in northern Minnesota. The variegated cutworm has unleashed light brown moths that are laying eggs across the region.

The bugs are native to Minnesota. But a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources bug expert says she's never seen the species in the northern region and she's been studying insects for more than three decades.

Even though the moths soon die, the caterpillars that hatch from the eggs can last for weeks, munch on greenery and cut a plant off at the stem.  DNR says they're getting the same reports from northern Wisconsin.

People are curious about the new species. They say gardeners can control the caterpillars with insecticides applied late in the day.

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