Gypsy Moths Spotted in U.S. as Fears Grow That They’re the New Murder Hornets – Washington Governor Warns of ‘Imminent Danger’
Over the past few weeks, fears have been growing over the deadly Asian murder hornets after they were spotted in the United States for the first time. Now, Americans have a new dangerous insect to worry about, as Asian gypsy moths and Asian-European hybrid gypsy moths have been spotted in Washington state.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation about the non-native gypsy moth, explaining that there was an “imminent danger of an infestation” of the plant pests in parts of Snohomish County.
“This imminent danger of infestation seriously endangers the agricultural and horticultural industries of the state of Washington and seriously threatens the economic well-being and quality of life of state residents,” Inslee said in the proclamation.
The proclamation went on to explain that the threat is posed by both the Asian gypsy moths and Asian-European hybrid gypsy moths, which can each cause some serious damage.
“Large (Asian gypsy moth) infestations can completely defoliate trees,” said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. “This defoliation can severely weaken trees and shrubs, making them more susceptible to disease. Repeated defoliation can lead to the death of large sections of forests, orchards and landscaping.”
The agency went on to explain that female moths can lay hundreds of eggs which then become caterpillars and munch through more than 500 different tree and shrub species. Making matters worse is the fact that the moths can fly long distances, which will make it easy for them to spread across the United States like wildfire.
Back in August of 2000, the town of Lake County, Illinois had to be quarantined due to an infestation of gypsy moths. With much of the country already in quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, the last thing anyone wants to hear right now is that we might need to go into lockdown again because of an insect.
Twitter has already gone into full panic mode about the gypsy moths:
My state is being invaded by the Coronavirus, Murder Hornets, and now the giant Gypsy Moth.
So things are going OK, one more plague and we all get free refills at McDonalds whenever they open.
— Michael Finn (@mfinn3333) May 16, 2020
2. Murder Hornets
3. Giant Gypsy Moths
4. Large Invasive Lizards
5. What’s next?
— Iris is My Bar Name (@sidewaysiris) May 14, 2020
The year 2020…1st we had LANTERN FLIES, Then COVID-19, Then MURDER HORNETS, Next came GYPSY MOTHS & Now 4 FOOT LIZARDS IN GEORGIA..I CAN SEE THIS GUY COMING NEXT! pic.twitter.com/hVWeLVO1lI
— Johnnie Baker (@baker_johnnie) May 16, 2020
Who had giant Gypsy moths on their 2020 Apocalypse Bingo card?
— Liz (@bluebonnetbunny) May 14, 2020
Gypsy moths… pic.twitter.com/BJfRipMuJH
— niya or whatever (@niya_uhh) May 10, 2020
We had started to think that things could not get any worse right now, but it looks like we were dead wrong!