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Gypsy Moth Quarantine Expands to Iowa County
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/16/2014

Trapping data and field surveys show that the gypsy moth is reproducing and taking hold in another Wisconsin county. Later this spring, Iowa County officially will be placed under state gypsy moth quarantine, joining most of eastern and central Wisconsin already considered to be generally infested with the pest.

In most counties, the quarantine has the greatest impact on plant nurseries, Christmas tree growers and lumber mills because of inspection requirements.

"The quarantine requires that Christmas trees, logs and nursery stock be inspected and certified as gypsy moth-free before they can be transported into non-quarantine counties or non-quarantine states," said Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. "This is to prevent the introduction of the gypsy moth into areas that either don't have it or have low populations of the pest."

Trees, wood and nursery stock are not the only ways gypsy moths can hitch a ride. People living in a quarantine county must be careful when moving any outdoor item. Because female gypsy moths can lay eggs on nearly anything kept outside, there is a risk of moving gypsy moths when moving things like patio furniture, campers, boat trailers or firewood.

The Gypsy moth was brought from Europe to the Boston area in 1869 and has since spread into much of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada. It was discovered in Wisconsin in the late 1960s. Counties in eastern Wisconsin were placed under quarantine starting in 1993. The leading edge of the gypsy moth infestation now stretches from Rock County to Bayfield County.

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