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New moth species invades northern Minnesota

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — 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, have never made it to the Northland.

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources bug expert Jana Albers says she's never seen the species in the northern region and she's been studying insects for more than three decades. The moths soon die. But, the caterpillars that hatch from the eggs can last for weeks, munch on greenery and cut a plant off at the stem.

Albers tells the Duluth News Tribune (http://bit.ly/KO91Xg ) the DNR is getting the same reports from northern Wisconsin. People are curious about the new species. Gardeners can control the caterpillars with insecticides applied late in the day.

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Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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