**This organism is not known to be present in the United States but poses a threat. Rosy moth is a close relative of the European gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar; both are serious defoliating forest pests. It is not known to be in the US, but poses a serious threat should it be introduced to any forested region of the US. Rosy moth has a wide climate range, from subtropical to boreal, and is one of the most important defoliators in the ranges where it occurs (Europe, Asia and India), especially of oak species. It feeds readily on many North American tree species and also defoliates apple trees. It is an outbreak pest with a cycle of approximately four years; populations during outbreaks can exceed 1,000 insects per tree.
Rosy moth lays eggs in crevasses and hidden places where they are easily transported; they have been intercepted several times on ships bound for America and Canada. Eggs can be easily transported in wood products, especially those with the bark still attached. Pathways include wooden shipping materials (pallets, dunnage, etc.) and imported wooden products. If introduced, eggs could be transported unknowingly in firewood, and both caterpillars and adults are capable of dispersal; adults fly at least a kilometer, and caterpillars can parachute farther distances then gypsy moth caterpillars.
Think you've spotted this pest?
If you think you've found this pest in your landscape contact your local extension office to see about sending in a sample.
Find your local extension office here.