Keeping gypsy moths from moving or traveling from infested areas is simple: Inspect vehicles and all outdoor household items for gypsy moth egg masses and remove them. The removal can be performed easily with a putty knife, stiff brush or similar hand tool. Egg masses can be disposed of in a container of hot, soapy water or placed in a plastic bag that is then sealed and set in the sun. People moving or traveling can decide to perform the inspection themselves or hire a professional.

Regardless of who completes the inspection, it is required by law that anyone moving from a gypsy moth-infested area to a non-infested area provides an official inspection certificate of all common outdoor household items that could carry the gypsy moth. A completed and signed checklist from the brochure is an official certificate that will satisfy the requirements of all noninfested states.

The gypsy moth has dramatically changed the landscape in 19 states and Washington, D.C., since it was introduced into New England in the late 1860s. Since 1970, 75 million acres in the United States have been defoliated by the gypsy moth. A gypsy moth infestation can defoliate up to 13 million acres of trees in one season if left untreated. Repeated defoliations can kill a tree in two to four years.
New infestations are typically caused by gypsy moth egg masses that are accidentally transported by people moving or traveling from an infested area. Female moths can lay their egg masses on nearly any outdoor surface (vehicles, yard tools, playground equipment, outdoor toys, camping gear and like items), and the caterpillars hatch and spread during the spring and summer months.

To learn more about the threat posed by gypsy moths, download the brochure, or access the partner toolkit, please visit