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PLEASE NOTE: As of July, 2021, the Entomological Society of America no longer recognizes the common name gypsy moth for Lymantria dispar. Our website will be updated with the new common name after it is selected.

Plant Industry - Plant Protection Section

Gypsy Moth


Originating from Europe, the gypsy moth was initially introduced into the United States near Boston in 1869 by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, an amateur entomologist attempting to interbreed the gypsy moth and native caterpillars, with the goal of establishing a silkworm industry in North America.  At the time of escape, the enclosures that held the caterpillars in Truvelot’s backyard overturned in a storm, releasing the caterpillars into the wild.  Ever since, the gypsy moth has spread to the north, south, and west. 

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NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division - Plant Protection Section
Division Director - Dr. Bill Foote
Mailing Address: 1060 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1060
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh NC 27603
Phone: (919) 707-3730 | FAX: (919) 733-1041

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