The European strain of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar
L. (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) was accidentally introduced to North America over 100 years ago and despite its explosive population growth there, the species still only occupies less than 1/3 of its potential range. While this slow rate of spread can be attributed in part to the limited dispersal capacities of this strain, its constrained distribution mainly reflects the success of efforts to limit range expansion of this species. Currently, two major area-wide programmes are operated to limit the spread of the gypsy moth in the USA, in addition to a third programme that suppresses gypsy moth outbreaks in the infested areas. The detection / eradication programme is led by the United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) in cooperation with state governments and utilizes networks of pheromone traps to detect newly invaded populations of the gypsy moth in the uninfested portions of the USA. Over the last decades, hundreds of isolated populations have been detected and eradicated. Most eradication treatments in the USA are conducted using aerial sprays of Bacillus thuringiensis
. The USDA Forest Service also operates another area-wide programme entitled "Slow the Spread" (STS) in cooperation with state agencies that operates at the edge of the generally infested area and aims to slow the gypsy moth’s spread. This programme also uses grids of pheromone traps to locate isolated populations, which are then treated. The STS programme has adopted several major innovations that make it one of the most advanced area-wide programmes for managing invading species. Among these innovations, the STS programme adopts a complex geographic information system (GIS)-based decision algorithm for processing trap data, identifying treatment areas and evaluating programme efficacy. Also, the STS programme is unique in that it largely has adopted mating disruption to eradicate or suppress isolated populations ahead of the invading front.
Liebhold, A.M.; Leonard, D.; Marra, J.L.; Pfister, S.E. 2021. Area-wide management of invading gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) populations in the USA. In: Hendrichs, J.; Pereira, R.; Vreysen, M.J.B., eds. Area-wide integrated pest management: development and field application. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press: 551-560.