Laws Require Gypsy Moth Inspection before Relocating

Not only are there agricultural consequences to the spread of gypsy moth, but there are also legal ramifications if you do not adhere to the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Gypsy Moth Quarantine Map. Click image for larger version

American Van Lines moving company feels obligated to help spread awareness about the growing gypsy moth epidemic. As national movers, they say they are equally responsible for aiding the government in its efforts to contain this insect.

You must obtain an inspection certification when moving from a quarantined area to a non-infested area. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in penalties assessed up to $250,000 per occurrence. You can either perform a self inspection or pay a state-licensed inspector.

During a self inspection, you should inspect anything exposed to gypsy moth including by not limited to patio sets, grills, children’s toys, garden equipment, campers, tents, trailers, etc. Carefully look over each article, remove any life stages of gypsy moth found, and then destroy them. Removing gypsy moth by hand is an effective way of disposing of the insect. Some people are allergic to gypsy moth hairs. To avoid direct contact, wear gloves, protective clothing and a dust mask.

In a self inspection, you should:

  • scrap egg masses from their locations with a putty knife, stiff brush, or similar hand tool.
  • dispose of egg masses and other life stages in a container of hot, soapy water or place them in a plastic bag, seal it, and set it in the sun.
  • get rid of articles if they are heavily infested and have little value to you.
  • keep the checklist as an official certificate. Be sure to enter the date and place inspected, and then sign at the bottom.

Give the checklist to the moving van driver to be presented to officials if stopped. Without this document you will be in violation of the quarantine if found moving outdoor household items.

For a licensed inspection, contact the USDA – APHIS Cargo Inspection Policy Department at 301.734.8295 for a list of pesticide inspectors. These professionals are trained to inspect for and remove gypsy moth life stages. You should be issued a certificate stating that your items are free of gypsy moth. Give this certificate to the driver.

Note: Inspections must not take place more than five days prior to traveling to avoid re-infestation.

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