Flora and Fauna | News | Local

Asian Gypsy Moths Discovered At Port Of Portland

OPB | March 19, 2013 12:08 p.m. | Updated: March 19, 2013 2:22 p.m. | Portland

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Customs and Border Protection agents discovered two giant egg masses of Asian Gypsy Moths at the Port of Portland. Tuesday marked the first interception of the moths in the United States this year.

Asian gypsy moth

Asian gypsy moth

Klaus Bolte, NRCAN

Asian Gypsy Moths are a major threat to the Northwest. Once they’ve laid their eggs, females can fly up to 25 miles, and lay hundreds of new eggs there. The moths are voracious, and could keep eating a forest until there’s nothing left. The Asian Gypsy Moth has no natural predators in the U.S.

Ed Colford is a Supervisory Officer for Customs and Borders Protection. He says the moth is a high priority for his agency nationwide.

He said, “Essentially our response to a threat of this non-domestic pest is to go out and try to stop it before it can infiltrate our domestic agriculture industry and forests.”

The way they do that is to target high-risk vessels and inspect big cargo ships coming from Asian ports.

On the Web

Oregon ODA: Gypsy moths

USDA: Gypsy moths

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