Gypsy moths in trees

Gypsies, tramps and thieves? No, gypsy moths in trees!

(Channel your inner Cher for this tune set to her "Gypsies, tramps and thieves.")

♫ It was born a caterpillar on the travelin’ ship
Its mama would flutter in the light of the slip
Its papa would do whatever he could
Teach a little eatin' that all plants taste good 

♪ Gypsy moths in trees
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d holler, gypsy moths in trees
But every night the caterpillars would come around
And eat the vegetation down 

♫ Trapped a moth just north of Sitcum Way
But the caterpillars might have snuck away; spotted all around the Puget Sound
From Lacey to Seattle
To be safe, WSDA sprayed everywhere moths were found 

♪ Gypsy moths in trees
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d holler, gypsy moths in trees
But every night the caterpillars would come around
And eat the vegetation down

Environmental connection

Earlier this month, the Washington Department of Agriculture completed treating seven sites in western Washington to eradicate the gypsy moth.

The gypsy moth is a highly invasive and destructive pest that in its caterpillar stage feeds on hundreds of species of trees and bushes. Several European and Asian gypsy moths were trapped in Western Washington last year.

Each site was treated three times with an aerial application of the naturally occurring biological insecticide Btk to prevent the invasive pest from becoming established in the state. The sites included Vancouver, Lacey, Nisqually, Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Kent and Seattle.

WSDA is now ramping up its annual trapping and surveillance program. More than 30,000 traps will be placed throughout the state to both measure the effectiveness of the 2016 treatments and monitor for new gypsy moth introductions.

Find more information on gypsy moth at www.agr.wa.gov/gypsymoth.