ST. PAUL  (AP) — Even though it's the middle of a frigid Minnesota winter, officials are already planning to eradicate three gypsy moth infestations in the Twin Cities area this spring.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is inviting people to learn about the effort at open houses Feb. 8 in Andover and Feb. 9 in Stillwater.

The infestations were found last year in the city of Grant just west of Stillwater, Coon Rapids and Minnetonka.

Gypsy moths have caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as they've spread from New England to Wisconsin in recent decades. Their caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. They're common in Wisconsin and are now threatening eastern Minnesota.

The department says it has successfully treated dozens of infestations across eastern Minnesota from Grand Marais to Winona County.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.