APHIS Releases New Guidelines for Asian Gypsy Moth Surveys and Response

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APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, with input from State Plant Regulatory Officials from the National Plant Board and the USDA Forest Service, has released new Asian Gypsy Moth Survey and Response Guidelines.  We released these guidelines to help better define survey parameters and provide a range of appropriate responses. Since the risk of Asian gypsy moth (AGM) establishing in a specific area varies across the country and because the circumstances of every detection are unique, we recognize the need for flexibility when responding to the threat of AGM.


First detected in the United States in 1991, Asian gypsy moth has been detected on more than 20 more occasions in locations across the United States.  The moth’s larvae may feed on over 500 plant species.  In addition, the female AGM is an active flyer, unlike the established European gypsy moth. This broad range of possible host plants combined with the female’s ability to fly allows the AGM to spread rapidly into and through uninfested areas. Large infestations of Asian gypsy moth can completely defoliate trees, weakening the trees and leaving them more susceptible to disease. If defoliation is repeated for two or more years, it can lead to the death of large sections of forests, orchards, and landscaping. The establishment of this pest in the United States would pose a major threat to the landscape of the North American continent.


If you have questions or concerns about the new guidelines, please contact Paul Chaloux, National Gypsy Moth Policy Manager, at (301) 851-2064 or Paul.Chaloux@aphis.usda.gov