Eradication is no longer an option for more than 20 infested states in the northeast and mid-west where gypsy moth has become permanently established.
- Gypsy moth is capable of defoliating millions of acres of forest in a single year.
- Since 1977, WSDA has successively prevented the gypsy moth from spreading to our state by eradicating isolated populations.
- If gypsy moth becomes established, costly quarantines will be imposed on our state's nursery, forestry, and Christmas tree industries.
- If the gypsy moth is allowed to spread, the cost of control to our state will increase by many millions of dollars.
- Many states with permanent populations of gypsy moth spray 1,000 times more pesticide in a single year to suppress gypsy moth than Washington does to eradicate it.
- Forest defoliation from the gypsy moth destroys wildlife habitat, increases the risk of wildfire, affects water quality, and can disrupt stream habitat for migrating salmon.
- Gypsy moth caterpillars trigger allergic reactions in some people, causing skin welts, rashes, and swelling.
2016 GYPSY MOTH OUTBREAK
In 2016, the East Coast saw its worst gypsy moth outbreak since 1981. Hundreds of thousands of acres of forest were defoliated. We visited three states to witness the destruction ourselves. Check out this video of the trip.