The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is scheduled to begin setting out gypsy moth traps in southern Minnesota this week. Traps will be set in the northern part of the state in early June. In all, about 18,000 traps will be put out.

The traps are small, triangle-shaped and made of cardboard. I recall a number of years ago, I noticed one attached to a tree in the ditch across from my house. I just assumed it was a school kid's work and part of school project or something. I now realize that is was a gypsy moth trap.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The dreaded gypsy moth was accidentally introduced in Massachusetts in 1869 and it has been making its way slowly westward. In fact, spraying for the moth begins this week in neighboring Wisconsin. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has been watching the gypsy moth situation for more than 40 years.

Southeastern Minnesota is expected to be the hot spot for the state in 2016. This destructive pest starts as an egg in late spring and evolves into a caterpillar that spends about five to six weeks foraging on our greenery and trees before dying. It especially loves the oak, poplar, birch and willow tree. It has caused widespread damage to shrubs and trees to the east.

You can read more about this destructive pest on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's website.