Spongy Moth

×On March 2, 2022, the Entomological Society of America officially changed the common name of Lymantria dispar (previously known as the gypsy moth) to spongy moth.

The spongy moth (Lymantria dispar) is an important defoliator of trees. Originally from Europe, it was introduced in the late 1800s. Spongy moth caterpillars feed on hundreds of tree species but tend to prefer oaks, especially white and chestnut oak on ridgetops.

*Current quarantines exist in Virginia, read more about quarantines.

Virginia participates in the Spongy Moth Slow the Spread (STS) Foundation. STS is an important program that works to minimize the movement of this pest into uninfested areas. Learn about the Spongy Moth Slow-the-Spread Program.

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services operates a suppression program. Learn about the Spongy Moth Suppression Program.


Additional Resources

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Gypsy Moth (Spongy Moth) Management for Homeowners on Small Properties
Gypsy Moth (Spongy Moth) Management for Homeowners on Small Properties

This factsheet details the life cycle and biology of the spongy moth.

Viewforest-healthresource
Virginia Cooperative Spongy Moth Suppression Program
Virginia Cooperative Spongy Moth Suppression Program

Publication provides information on the Spongy Moth Slow the Spread Program.

Viewforest-healthpublication

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