Public Information Meetings for Gypsy Moth Management Scheduled in Northeast Iowa

AMES, Iowa--The Iowa Gypsy Moth Management Team will be conducting public meetings in northeastern Iowa in mid-April to discuss gypsy moth management actions for summer 2013. The meetings are free and open to the public.

The European gypsy moth, a well-known pest of trees, has been in the eastern United States for over 150 years. Iowa has monitored the westward expansion of the gypsy moth since 1970 using pheromone traps. Two hundred twenty-five moths were caught in these traps during 2012, indicating that two pockets of this invasive insect are developing in eastern Iowa.

“The gypsy moth caterpillar has a ravenous appetite for the tree foliage of several hundred species, but oak leaves are their favorite food,” said Mark Shour, entomologist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach . “Without corrective action, repeated defoliation of trees by the gypsy moth can cause tree death or weaken trees to attack by diseases and other insects.”

Iowa is a part of the federal Slow the Spread program, a project that has successfully slowed the rate of the advancing front of gypsy moth, and has limited moth defoliations. Iowa proposes to limit establishment of gypsy moth in Iowa with use of an aerial application of mating disruption pheromone. Applications are proposed in two blocks within Allamakee and Dubuque Counties. See the website,, for maps of proposed treatment blocks and additional information.

“The pheromone is specific to gypsy moths so it does not affect plants, humans or other animals, including moths and butterflies,” said Robin Pruisner, state entomologist with IDALS.  “The use of pheromone treatments will help delay the establishment of gypsy moth in Iowa by several years,” said Pruisner.

Public meetings about gypsy moth, the proposed treatments during 2013 and an opportunity for public comment will be at the following Iowa locations:

  • April 16 at 7 p.m. – EB Lyons Interpretive Center at the Mines of Spain, 8991 Bellevue Heights, Dubuque, Iowa
  • April 17 at 7 p.m. – Kerndt Brothers Savings Bank Community Center, 395 Main Street, Lansing, Iowa

The Iowa Gypsy Moth Management Team is an interagency, cooperative effort of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, United States Department of Agriculture - Forest Service, and United States Department of Agriculture - APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine.


PHOTO: Gypsy Moth Larva; image credit: BMcNee WI Gov

Additional Contacts:
Dustin VandeHoef, IDALS, 515-326-1616
Kevin Baskins, Iowa DNR, 515-261-8395