2015 Asian Gypsy Moth Survey

2015 Asian Gypsy Moth Survey

What is the threat?
The Asian gypsy moth (AGM) is a destructive, non-native pest that feeds on over 600 types of plants. Large infestations of AGM can completely defoliate trees, leaving them weak and more susceptible to disease or attack by other insects. If defoliation is repeated for two or more years, it can lead to the death of large sections of forests, orchards, and landscaping. 

This broad range of possible host plants, combined with the female’s ability to fly long distances, could allow AGM to spread rapidly. Any introduction and establishment of AGM in the United States would pose a major threat to the environment and in the urban, suburban, and rural landscapes, and could cost millions to eradicate.


Where is the threat?
During 2014 gypsy moth survey efforts, one AGM was discovered in Pittsburg County, OK and in North Charleston, SC. Because the introduction and establishment of the AGM would be so damaging to our native landscape, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will survey this year and for two additional years if no other AGM detections are made.

Moth traps in your area
The USDA hired local people from each survey area to hang plastic-coated cardboard moth traps with openings on either end. AGMs are lured by a slow-release attractant (pheromone). They enter through the openings and are captured in the glue that coats the inside of the trap. The traps pose no risk to people, pets or wildlife and will be in place throughout the summer.

How you can help
In order to conduct a full and complete survey, the USDA seeks permission from private landowners to hang moth traps on your property. We also ask that if you see a trap on the ground, to report it.

AGM Survey Facts and Figures
Oklahoma South Carolina
  • Survey period: 4/27-8/14/2015 (16 weeks)
  • 200 square miles in rural environment on public land and private property    
  • 3,500 orange traps in far southwest corner of Pittsburg County
  • In 2014, a single male moth was detected in one of the 3,500  traps set 
  • If you see a trap on the ground, locate the hand-written identification number on the outside of the trap and call the USDA at 405-609-8843 to report it.
  • Survey period: 4/6-7/24/2015 (16 weeks)
  • 100 square miles in urban residential private property and port environment
  • 1,750 tan traps in Charleston County and some adjacent properties in southern Berkeley County
  • This is the first AGM survey in this area.
  • Traps hung on trees and utility poles on public property
  • Traps hung on trees on private property 
  • If you see a trap on the ground, locate the hand-written identification number on the outside of the trap and call the USDA at 843-480-4334 to report it.

Thank you for cooperating with the USDA in our effort to protect your trees and plants from this invasive pest.

Complementary Content