Growth Rings

The Asian gypsy moth problem

Posted on February 5, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Clinton E Burfitt is the Program Manager with the Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program Plant Division, Oregon Department of Agriculture. He reached out to FOT to raise awareness about two upcoming events concerning the Asian gypsy moth. 

The Asian gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar asiatica) is a subspecies of the asian mothEuropean gypsy moth. Similar in most ways, the Asian gypsy moth comes equipped with two additional weapons under its belt: 1) a much broader host range (more than 500 trees and shrubs), and 2) the female moth’s ability to fly, enabling populations to expand quicker and farther than the European gypsy moth.

In 2015, this plant-eating invasive species, was detected in Portland’s Forest Park and in the northern part of the St Johns neighborhood. The moths were found in traps placed throughout the region by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Gypsy moths have a tremendous capability of increasing in population, which results in the destruction of urban and natural forests. Establishment of gypsy moth threatens forest ecosystems and results in long-term increases in the use of pesticides by homeowners.

An eradication plan is being developed for the north Portland area. It is proposed that about 8,000 acres would be treated with an aerial application of an organic biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki this spring. High density trapping will follow to monitor the success of the eradication and to pinpoint any remaining populations.

Two public open-house events, coordinated by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Invasive Species Council, will be held to discuss the Asian gypsy moth eradication program. The goals of these events are to share information about the Asian gypsy moth, discuss the eradication proposal, and answer questions. Governmental and non-governmental agencies will be on hand. The events will be held at James John Elementary School, 7439 N. Charleston Ave, Portland, OR 97203. The first is February 17, 2016 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm & February 20, 2016 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

For more information please visit the following web resources:

Oregon Department of Agriculture:

Oregon Invasive Species Council:


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