Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is one of North America's most devastating invasive forest pests. The species originally evolved in Europe and Asia and has existed there for thousands of years. In the late 1860s, the European gypsy moth was accidentally introduced near Boston, MA by an amateur entomologist. Since then, gypsy moths have spread throughout the Northeast and into parts of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes states including Indiana.
The gypsy moth is known to feed on the foliage of hundreds of species of trees and shrubs in North America but prefers oak trees. When gypsy moth populations reach high levels, trees may be completely defoliated by feeding caterpillars. Several successive years of defoliation, along with contributions by other stress factors, often results in tree death. Gypsy moth can be an expensive, messy problem for homeowners and, when out of control, can cause extensive damage to U.S. forests.
Indiana citizens can help combat this pest by understanding the gypsy moth problem and learning about its management. Please use this website as a source of reliable, current information.