Insect and Disease Fact Sheet Compliments of New Century



Status of the Gypsy Moth in Ohio


Gypsy Moth first instar.

Gypsy Moth Larvae.

Male & Female with egg mass.


Due to increasing gypsy moth populations in northeastern Ohio, the State and Federal Departments of Agriculture established quarantine in 1987 to limit the spread of this destructive pest. Gypsy moth populations first reached defoliating levels in 1990. Defoliation peaked in 1995 at nearly 35,000 acres. Increased gypsy moth damage is expected as the insect spreads into the State's unglaciated oak-hickory forestlands.


There is good news to report in the fight against the gypsy moth. A new weapon has emerged. A fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga (Em), has emerged as a tool that can be used against this voracious feeder. This highly virulent and host-specific fungal pathogen of gypsy moth larvae is known as one of the most important causes of mortality in Japanese gypsy moth populations.


Gypsy Moth egg mass on tree.

Since 1990, the Ohio Department of Agriculture has been conducting gypsy moth suppression projects in the generally infested areas of the State, combined with pheromone trapping and eradication projects in areas not considered generally infested.


The purpose of these projects is to maintain gypsy moth populations below damaging levels in infested areas of Ohio, while identifying and eliminating isolated gypsy moth populations in the State's uninfested areas. The projects have included many different tactics including insecticides, biological controls, and mass trapping.


Adult male Gypsy Moth with feathered antennae.








Lifespan of Gypsy Moth.


Ohio’s 43 quarantined counties as of September 2002.




Predicted spread of the Gypsy Moth in 25 years.







Information obtained through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.



Insect and Disease Fact Sheet Compliments of New Century