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Gypsy mothAuthor(s): William Wallner
Source: In: Hutchinson, Jay G., ed. Central hardwood notes. St. Paul, MN.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 8.10
Publication Series: Other
Station: North Central Research Station
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DescriptionThe gypsy moth is the most important hardwood defoliating insect in North America. Since its inadvertent introduction into Massachusetts in 1869, it has spread naturally south and west at approximately 5 miles per year. Long distance spread has occurred from human activities such as moving household belongings, camping equipment, motor homes, or other articles harboring life stages. In North America, gypsy moth tends to erupt every 8 to 11 years and defoliate forest and urban trees and shrubs. Gypsy moth larvae can feed on over 500 plant species, but they prefer oaks. Other species readily attacked include bigtooth and quaking aspen, willows, paper birch, American basswood, maple, eastern hemlock, eastern white pine, and larch. Yellow-poplar, ash, and dogwood are avoided. Forests composed of less than 50 percent oak have less than half the likelihood of being defoliated than those with higher percentages of oak.
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CitationWallner, William. 1989. Gypsy moth. In: Hutchinson, Jay G., ed. Central hardwood notes. St. Paul, MN.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 8.10
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