What you can do to prevent the spread of Asian Gypsy Moth

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The problem

The Asian gypsy moth is an invasive insect. It poses a significant threat to Canada's forests, biodiversity and economy. These moths can feed on a wide range of economically important tree species, as well as other important plants.

Ships and cargo — including containers and used vehicles — can carry the egg masses of these moths to Canada from China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Russia (Far East region). In the right conditions, caterpillars hatch from these egg masses and they can go great distances with the wind to find food.

Know what the moth and egg mass look like.

The female is large in size. They range from white to light grey in colour, with black markings on the wings.

Asian gypsy moth egg masses are 2 to 4 centimetres long. They are gold to dark brown in colour, with fine hairs covering the eggs. They are often found in sheltered areas (for example, out of the rain and direct sun).

Inspect and report

All marine vessels entering Canada can be inspected, at any time of year, to verify that they are free from Asian gypsy moth. If an inspection finds this moth, at any of its life stages, vessels are not allowed to stay in Canadian waters.

Do not paint over viable egg masses

Painting over the egg masses will not kill them.

If you find egg masses resembling the images on this Web page, please contact the nearest CFIA office.

Stop the spread of invasive species

An invasive species can be any plant, animal, aquatic life or micro-organism that spreads when introduced outside of its natural distribution. Invasive species can cause serious and often irreversible damage to Canada's ecosystems, economy and society.

The CFIA is the Government of Canada's science-based regulator for animal health, plant protection and food safety. The CFIA plays an important role in protecting Canada's plant resource base from pests and diseases.

Referenced Images

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Asian gypsy moth - Natural Resources Canada
Asian gypsy moth
Photo Courtesy: Klaus Bolte, NRCAN

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Asian gypsy moth egg mass - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Asian gypsy moth egg mass
Photo Courtesy: CFIA

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Painting over egg masses does not kill them - Canadian Food Inspection Agency Painting over egg masses does not kill them - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Painting over egg masses does not kill them
Photo Courtesy: CFIA

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larger view

Look for moths while calling on ports - Jevic Co. Ltd
Look for moths while calling on ports in China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Russia (Far East region).
Photo Courtesy: Jevic Co. Ltd