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Shared Interests Group

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Ezekiel Moore
Ezekiel Moore

Gypsy ((FULL))

The gypsy moth is the most destructive forest insect pest to infest New Jersey's forests. Repeated defoliation by the gypsy moth represents a serious threat to New Jersey woodland and shade tree resources.



The New Jersey Department of Agriculture promotes an integrated pest management approach, which encourages natural controls to reduce gypsy moth feeding and subsequent tree loss. However, when gypsy moth cycles are at a peak, natural controls have difficulty in preventing severe defoliation. In these special cases, the Department recommends aerial spray treatments on residential and recreational areas using the selective, non-chemical insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis.

Any properly identified inspector is authorized to stop and inspect, and to seize, destroy, or otherwise dispose of, or require disposal of regulated articles, outdoor household articles, and gypsy moths as provided in sections 414, 421, and 434 of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7714, 7731, and 7754).

Regulations requiring a permit for, and otherwise governing the movement of, live gypsy moths in interstate or foreign commerce are contained in the Federal Plant Pest Regulations in part 330 of this chapter.

The Gypsy Moth Suppression Program is gearing up to conduct their fall and winter Gypsy Moth egg mass monitoring starting in October 2020 and continuing through January 2021. This monitoring will help determine the areas that will require spring treatment in 2021. Gypsy Moth monitoring done throughout this past spring and summer have shown that there are a few areas in Bay County where gypsy moth populations are still on the rise. Check out our detailed Heat Map which shows areas where higher numbers of gypsy moth egg masses were found during the last fall monitoring. Areas with more than 300 egg masses per acre were scheduled for treatment in spring of 2020 where allowed.

Note: The Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America elected to change gypsy moth to spongy moth in early 2022. The transition to the new common name will likely be a multi-year process. To maintain consistency for those who have been dealing with this pest, several of our outreach materials may include the previous common name, gypsy moth.

June 7, 2021 Montpelier, VT - Many people in Vermont are encountering gypsy moths (GM) for the first time. This invasive species arrived in the United States over 100 years ago and has been expanding its range ever since. They can be significant defoliators (leaf eaters) of trees and shrubs. They prefer oak trees, but when there are a lot of caterpillars around they will eat any type of leaf, including maple and pine.

The spongy moth, Lymantria dispar, (formally known as gypsy moth) is one of North America's most devastating invasive forest pests. The species originally evolved in Europe and Asia and has existed there for thousands of years. In the late 1860s, the spongy moth was accidentally introduced near Boston, MA by an amateur entomologist. Since then, spongy moths have spread throughout the Northeast and into parts of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes states including Indiana.

Application of the gypsy moth mating pheromone reduces the ability of the male moth to find and mate with a female. Spray applications of the pheromone are a common method to control gypsy moth populations throughout the U.S. There are no known effects on humans or other organisms. Compared to biological or chemical insecticides, it is the safest alternative for population control.Additional information can be found on the Gyspy Moth - Slow the Spread Foundation website at, and on the Protect TN Forests website submit comments about the treatments to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, contact Forest Health Program Specialist Cameron Stauder at or 615-504-5263. Public comments regarding the planned application will be accepted through February 28, 2021.

The spongy moth (formerly gypsy moth), Lymantria dispar, is the most important tree-defoliating insect in the eastern U.S. and is slowly expanding its range to include Missouri and Arkansas. Spongy moth caterpillars have very large appetites and are capable of feeding on 500 species of trees and shrubs. The caterpillars defoliate trees at an alarming rate and are best controlled when their populations are at low levels. Spongy moth caterpillars do not build tents; if you observe tents or webs in your trees they were probably constructed by other defoliating insects such as eastern tent caterpillar or fall webworm. The adult moths are active during daylight hours and the adult male may be observed as an active brown moth flying about in a zig-zag pattern. The large, offwhite female moth doesn't fly but may be observed crawling on the ground or clinging to the bark of trees. The name 'spongy moth' was adopted as the new common name for the species in 2022 by the Entomological Society of America, as the foremer name was a derogatory term for Romani people. 041b061a72


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