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European Gypsy Moth FAQs
What Does the European Gypsy Moth (EGM) Look Like?
Male gypsy moths are brown with a darker brown pattern on their wings and have a 1-1/2 inch wingspan. Females are slightly larger, with a 2-inch wingspan, and nearly white with dark saw-toothed patterns on their wings.
Where was the European Gypsy Moth First Found in the United States?
The European gypsy moth was first detected in Massachusetts in 1869.
Where is the European Gypsy Moth Found in the United States?
The European gypsy moth is currently found in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. For a map showing states with current quarantines and high risk areas, visit the Pest Tracker.
What Types of Plants Does the Gypsy Moth Infest?
The European gypsy moth prefers approximately 150 primary hosts but feeds on more than 500 species of trees and shrubs. It feeds mainly on hardwood trees, such as oak, aspen, birch and willow but native and common California species like manzanita and western hemlock may also be at risk from Gypsy Moth.
What Kind of Damage Can the European Gypsy Moth Cause?
A single European gypsy moth caterpillar can eat up to 1 square foot of leaves per day. When trees are repeatedly defoliated, or stripped of their leaves, they become more susceptible to other pests and diseases, leading to tree death and an increased potential for fire and erosion. Defoliation also destroys habitat for mammals and birds.
Are Quarantine and/or Eradication Programs in Place for the European Gypsy Moth?
Quarantine and/or eradication programs are in place for European Gypsy Moth in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Visit the Pest Tracker for a general overview of the federal quarantines and high risk areas.
The discovery of European gypsy moth triggers quarantine to prohibit the movement of host items from infected areas to uninfected areas. Affected host items include nursery stock, Christmas trees, logs, pulpwood, wood chips, mobile homes and associated equipment, outdoor furniture, barbecue grills, firewood, dog houses, boats, recreational vehicles, trailers, garbage containers, bicycles, tires, tents, awnings and garden tools.
What Can We Do?
Do not move prohibited items from quarantine areas. Monitor your trees for signs of European gypsy moth infestation, and contact local authorities if you suspect an infestation. Treat your trees with natural or chemical methods as appropriate to prevent further spread of the moth.
It's also important to cooperate with any quarantine restrictions or rules that might be imposed because of a European gypsy moth find in your area, and allow authorized agricultural workers access to your property to inspect fruit and traps for signs of an infestation.