Gypsy Moth

The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is an exotic pest from Europe and northern Africa. This insect was brought into the United States as an experiment to improve the silkworm industry in 1869. A wind storm turned over the cages and released the insect into the forests of Massachusetts and this species has been causing serious harm to forests since that time. The caterpillars have a ravenous appetite for tree foliage of several hundred species, but oak leaves are their favorite food. Without corrective action, repeated defoliation of trees by gypsy moth caterpillars can cause tree death or weaken trees to attack by diseases and other insects. Iowa has monitored the westward expansion of this pest since 1970 using pheromone traps. A cooperative state and federal effort is addressing outreach and management plans. Check out the materials below for more information.

Upcoming Gypsy Moth Talks

Topic InformationDateTime

Topic: Gypsy Moth Treatment Plans Public Meeting
Location:Northeast Iowa Community College Waukon Center , 1220 3rd Ave. NW, Room #113, Waukon
Host: Mike Kitner

04/10/2019 7:00 pm -8:30 pm (open forum format)

Topic: Gypsy Moth Treatment Plans Public Meeting
Location: Bellvue Community Center, 1700 State St, Bellvue, IA
Host: Mike Kitner

04/11/2019 7:00 pm -8:30 pm (open forum format)

Gypsy Moth News Releases

Trying to find an article that was previously listed here? Check on our Gypsy Moth Articles page.

  1. Gypsy Moth Treatment Scheduled fro Allamakee and Jackson Counties June 27 or 28 (June 21, 2016)
  2. Public Meeting for Gypsy Moth Treatments Scheduled for Allamakee and Jackson Counties (March 24, 2016)
  3. Gypsy Moth Treatment Map-Jackson County and Allamakee County Sites
  4. Gypsy Moth Treatment Map-Jackson County-Bellevue Site
  5. Gypsy Moth Treatment Map-Allamakee County-Church Site
  6. Gypsy Moth Treatment Map-Allamakee County-New Albin Site

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Questions and Answers: Using Btk to control Gypsy Moth (PDF)
  2. Foray® 48B Biological Insecticide Flowable Concentrate-ORMI Certificate (PDF)
  3. Gypsy Moth Mating Disruption (PDF)
  4. Your Next Move Gypsy Moth Free (PDF)

Gypsy Moth Controls

  1. Disrupt BioFlake GM Label
  2. Disrupt BioFlake GM MSDS
  3. Disrupt BioFlake GM Fact Sheet

Slow the Spread of Gypsy Moth

  1. Slow the Spread – Overview

Short Gypsy Moth Videos

  1. Gypsy Moths Decimate Forests (CBS News)
  2. Gypsy Moth VNR
  3. Gypsy Moth-A Balanced Perspective

Visual Aids for Gypsy Moth Identification

  1. Gypsy Moth Image Gallery

Other Websites

  1. Iowa Gypsy Moth Website
  2. Iowa Tree Pests Website
  3. Don’t move Gypsy Moths (USDA)
  4. USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
  5. Illinois
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Minnesota

Contact information:
Donald Lewis
Professor, Extension Entomologist
104 Insectary Building
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-1101

Page last updated: April 8, 2019