Gypsy Moth

Historic Photo Gallery

The gypsy moth (GM) is one of North America's most devastating forest pests. The species originally evolved in Europe and Asia, where it is endemic. The GM was accidentally introduced near Boston, MA, by a (misguided) entomologist trying to breed silkworms for North America, E. Leopold Trouvelot in 1869/9. About 10 years later, the GM population in his neighborhood became noticeable as the first outbreaks began and in 1890 the Massachusetts and U.S. governments began attempting to eradicate the GM. A federal domestic quarantine was enacted in 1912 to minimize the rapid expansion of the insect to the remainder of the eastern U.S. and Canada. However, these attempts ultimately failed and since then, the GM invasion front has continued to expand, now reaching to North Carolina in the South and Minnesota in the Midwest.

The USDA Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Slow the Spread program have reduced the annual expansion considerably. However, isolated populations are discovered beyond the contiguous range of the GM every year, but these populations are eradicated or they disappear without intervention. Though the quarantine is credited with reducing the accidental long-range transport of the various GM life-stages on regulated commodities, GM still gets accidentally transported on firewood and outdoor recreation equipment. It is inevitable that GM will continue to expand its range in the future. Outbreaks have occurred as far away as the West Coast, but these have been eradicated by highly focused emergency efforts.

Gypsy Moth Spray Rig Pre-1900
Gypsy Moth Spray Rig Pre-1900 Source:archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Arsenic Warning Poster
Arsenic Warning Poster Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Burning gypsy moth egg masses
Burning gypsy moth egg masses Source: Forbush E.H., Fernald, C.H., 1896. The Gypsy Moth

Dexter elm Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Dexter elm. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Cleaning gypsy moth egg masses from the Dexter Elm
Cleaning gypsy moth egg masses from the Dexter Elm. Source: Forbush E.H., Fernald, C.H., 1896. The Gypsy Moth
Dexter Elm down on the ground  
              Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Dexter Elm down on the ground Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Cleaning gypsy moth egg masses from the Dexter Elm
Cleaning gypsy moth egg masses from the Dexter Elm. Source: Forbush E.H., Fernald, C.H., 1896. The Gypsy Moth
spraying for gypsy moth
Spraying for gypsy moth. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Dusting for gypsy moth.
Dusting for gypsy moth. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Dutch elm disease. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Spray plane. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Spray plane. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory

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Spray cart. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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USDA truck. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Gang spraying. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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GM barrier zone 1927. Source: archives of USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection & Exclusion Lab
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Gypsy moth dusting. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Gyspy moth egg scraping. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Gypsy moth sticky trap, 1945. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Gypsy moth tree scraping. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Store house Melrose, MA, 1913. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Gypsy moth sticky band around tree. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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DDT sign. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Horse pulled spray rig. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Horse pulled spray rig. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Spraying for gypsy moth. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Mister 1946. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory

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USDA lab. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Shaw trap for gypsy moth. Source: Forbush E.H., Fernald, C.H., 1896. The Gypsy Moth
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Spraying for gypsy moth. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory

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Spraying arsenicals for gypsy moth. Source: Forbush E.H., Fernald, C.H., 1896. The Gypsy Moth
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Spraying a bog. Source:USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Man and spray equipment. Source: USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory

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A man and spray equipment. Source: USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Spray rig. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Spray truck. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
Spray truck. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory

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Spray truck. Source: archives of the USDA APHIS Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory
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Trouvelot house in Medford, MA. Source: Forbush E.H., Fernald, C.H., 1896. The Gypsy Moth
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Etienne Leopold Trouvelot. Source: Lick Observatory, University of California
Last Modified: August 18, 2015

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