The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the launch of a new outreach campaign, "Your Move Gypsy Moth-Free," designed to stop the accidental spread of gypsy moth by people moving or traveling from moth-infested areas to uninfested areas. APHIS is kicking off the campaign during National Moving Month, which marks the height of the moving season in the United States.

This campaign will give those planning to move the information they need to stop this invasive pest from hitching a free ride on their vehicles or belongings," said Scott Pfister, APHIS' director of forest pests. Transporting the gypsy moth during a move could devastate the trees and shrubs of an uninfested area, making it hard for families to enjoy their new community and natural surroundings. With about 40 million Americans moving each year, National Moving Month is an ideal time to get this message out."

The campaign's goals are to raise awareness about how gypsy moths can devastate America's forests and community landscapes and to teach the public, as well as moving companies, how to prevent the spread of this pest. These outreach efforts will also help the public and moving companies comply with federal law, which requires the inspection of outdoor household items, such as grills and lawn furniture, for gypsy moth egg masses before they are transported from infested areas to uninfested areas. The campaign includes a new website, YourMoveGypsyMothFree.com, a brochure with the inspection checklist, and a free partner toolkit available for organizations to use.

The toolkit contains downloadable outreach materials, including a video, PowerPoint presentation, factsheet, customizable newsletter article, print ads and Web banner ads that link to YourMoveGypsyMothFree.com. APHIS is actively working with partner organizations--including moving companies and associations, environmental and nonprofit organizations, universities and federal and state agencies--to spread this critical message as widely as possible.