Well, well what do we have here?

Yesterday going for my walk I came across something interesting pinned onto a tree. I investigated and saw it was a gypsy moth trap. I looked up Gypsy moth and found the following information!


Gypsy Moth

Lymantria dispar

Gypsy MothGypsy Moth

Legal Status: Notifiable Organism
Status in New Zealand: Eradicated
Organism: Insects, worms and other land invertebrates

The gypsy moth is a serious pest causing millions of dollars damage around the world every year

Large numbers of caterpillars infest trees, stripping them clear of leaves and exposing them to diseases. A major outbreak of the pest here could destroy gardens, crops, forests, native bush, and the communities that depend on them.

Egg masses were found on several vessels and shipping containers in the early 1990s. In response MAF studied the moth, planned for an outbreak, and established a network of traps around major ports and airports to act as an early warning system.

In March 2003 a live adult moth was caught in an early warning trap in Hamilton, a major entry point for international air freight. No more moths have since been caught, but experts believe it was unlikely to have been alone.

The excellent condition of the caught moth means it probably hatched in New Zealand. A typical gypsy moth egg mass contains between 500 and 1000 eggs.

In May 2005 MAF concluded an eradication programme to prevent an outbreak of the pest. The programme included aerial treatment, intensive pheromone trapping, and controlling the movement of vegetation out of Hamilton.

Eradication was officially announced on 26 May 2005, two generations after aerial treatment was completed.


This morning I took my camera with me to take some photos of this trap.

Sure is very interesting!

This is what I saw at first.


6 comments on “Well, well what do we have here?

  1. Interesting post and educational. Thank you for sharing about the Gypsy Moth. I am going to look up tomorrow morning, about them here in the U.S. I might have to re-blog your info to add my info. It just depends on what I find out though. Thank you again 🙂

    • You’re welcome! It really was an interesting discovery. I have never seen something like this before. I had to stand on my toes to see what was written on top of it. I held the camera above it to take the photo without seeing what I was doing.

  2. This was a great post indeed. I used to work at a horticultural research establishment, and they used traps like these to monitor all sorts of moths and flies.
    Let’s hope they never find another Gypsey Moth in NZ!

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