U.S. Department of Agriculture

Washington, D.C. 20250





 SUBJECT: Departmental Gypsy Moth Policy


June 1, 1990

 OPI: Forest Pest Management, S&PF, Forest Service




This regulation establishes Departmental gypsy moth policy. It assigns responsibilities to USDA agencies and defines agency roles to avoid unnecessary duplication and to provide maximum coordination of USDA activities dealing with the gypsy moth.



The gypsy moth was introduced into this country in 1869. From 1869 to the 1950's, the moth spread throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. During the 1960's and 1970's, it moved into eastern Canada and Michigan and spread through New Jersey, much of New York, and Pennsylvania. In the early 1980's, it infested Delaware, Maryland, and portions of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio. Isolated infestations have been found in many other states, including California and Oregon. This spread resulted from both natural dispersal and accidental transport of gypsy moth life stages on recreational and commercial vehicles and outdoor household articles.

Gypsy moth damage and artificial spread of gypsy moth by people can be mitigated. USDA programs have been implemented for this purpose. Suppression programs are carried out to reduce gypsy moth damages, eradication projects are conducted to eliminate isolated infestations, and a quarantine is maintained to regulate the movement of gypsy moth by people. Research is underway to find better ways to cope with this insect. Extension and other education programs communicate essential information to the public.

USDA began its role in gypsy moth control in 1906 after Connecticut and Massachusetts requested aid from the Federal Government. Over the years, several USDA agencies became involved in work on the gypsy moth. These agencies are the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS), the Extension Service (ES), and the Forest Service (FS). Each agency has a distinct role in delivering the Department's gypsy moth program.

The role of APHIS is to administer the regulatory aspects of the program, conduct surveys to detect isolated infestations that are remote from the area of the United States that is generally infested, and develop methods to eradicate isolated infestations. APHIS also assists States with projects to eradicate small isolated infestations on private land. Gypsy moth research is conducted by the ARS, CSRS, and the FS. The ES coordinates education programs and disseminates information about the gypsy moth. The role of the FS, in addition to conducting research, is in gypsy moth survey and control within the generally infested area, either directly on Federal lands or cooperatively with the States on non-Federal lands, and in eradicating isolated infestations that are on or contiguous with Federal lands and large isolated infestations on non-Federal lands.



It is the policy of the Department to:

a Provide a comprehensive program of gypsy moth management activities coordinated by a designated lead agency.

b Protect Federal lands and assist States in protecting non-Federal lands from gypsy moth damage.

c Prevent or reduce the artificial long-range spread of the gypsy moth.

d Develop effective gypsy moth eradication or suppression programs,

e In cooperation with the States, conduct uniform gypsy moth surveys and population assessment activities.

f Plan and conduct fundamental and applied research on the gypsy moth in partnership with the Agricultural Experiment Stations and other cooperators to support Federal/State extension, regulatory and action programs.

g Coordinate research planning and cooperation within the Department and with other Federal, State, and private agencies.

h Emphasize research deemed necessary by Federal and State cooperators from the research, extension and action communities,



In carrying out Departmental gypsy moth programs, it is the primary responsibility of:

a The Forest Service to:

(1) Serve as lead agency for Departmental gypsy moth program activities.

(2) Provide technical assistance to State agencies within the generally infested area in gypsy moth detection, evaluation, and suppression techniques.

(3) Pilot test and transfer technology designed to improve gypsy moth control and damage reduction practices.

(4) Provide State and Federal agencies in the generally infested area and in newly infested States financial assistance in suppressing gypsy moth populations.

(5) Provide financial and technical assistance to State and Federal agencies to eradicate isolated gypsy moth infestations that are on or contiguous with Federal lands, and large isolated infestations that are on non-Federal lands.

(6) Conduct research and develop the means to control gypsy moth under forest conditions and to support agency action programs.

b The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to:

(1) Coordinate, with the appropriate State agencies, a national trapping program to detect isolated gypsy moth infestations.

(2) Conduct methods development and technology transfer activities to improve gypsy moth eradication and quarantine practices.

(3) Maintain a national quarantine to prevent the artificial long-range spread of the gypsy moth.

(4) Provide financial and technical assistance to States to eradicate small isolated gypsy moth infestations.

c The Agricultural Research Service to:

(1) Develop the means to protect high-value trees for homeowners, communities, parks and other non-forest environments.

(2) Conduct research supporting the activities of gypsy moth action agencies.

d The Cooperative State Research Service to:

(1) Administer a research grants program, that includes gypsy moth research, and cooperative planning through the State Agricultural Experiment Station System.

e The Extension Service to:

(1) Coordinate an information and education program carried out by Departmental and appropriate State agencies on gypsy moth and gypsy moth management practices.