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Minnesotans Urged Not to Let Pests Invade Homes

Christmas TreeST. PAUL¬† (AP) – The state Agriculture Department is telling Minnesotans not to let pests into their homes this holiday season — and they’re not talking about relatives.

As the popularity of online and mail order trees grows, officials warn consumers who plan to buy a Christmas tree or holiday greens online to make sure destructive pests aren’t hitching a ride.

Minnesota Plant Protection Director Geir Friisoe says there are regulations that aim to prevent the spread of damaging forest pests such as the gypsy moth, the sirex woodwasp and the pine shoot beetle.

The department says customers can simply ask prior to purchase for proof that that product doesn’t come from a quarantine zone and meets all requirements for shipping to Minnesota. Or they can make certain by buying a locally grown product.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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