Watch out for the vicious moth in Illinois This is bad news for trees

As the weather warms, there appears to be an increase in invasive insects causing problems in both Missouri and Illinois. There’s a new alert about nasty moths already seen in Illinois and it’s really bad news for our trees.

The USDA has issued an alert for what is known as the sponge moth. Many are used to referring to it as the gypsy moth. Whatever you call it, it’s really bad for trees and has even been reported in Illinois. Here is the USDA’s list of where this nasty moth currently resides:

The sponge moth is currently found in Connecticut, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, IllinoisIndiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

What is the danger of the sponge moth?

The USDA says this vicious moth feeds on 300 species of trees and shrubs including:

  • Aspen
  • birch
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • fruit trees
  • Larch
  • oak
  • Poplar
  • willow

That’s pretty much every type of tree in Illinois.

Since this moth has been reported in Michigan as well, the City of Grand Rapids has shared a handy guide to help you learn what to watch for and how to get rid of it.

The Illinois sponge/gypsy moth infestation is the latest in a long line of alerts against invasive pests. Be sure to check out the USDA website for the latest updates.

7 Indiana Invasive Insects You Should Kill Immediately If You See Them

In an effort to let the public know what types of invasive species are known to be present in their state, the USDA offers a “Pest Tracker” on their website, where you simply click on your state’s name from a drop-down menu provided to see pictures of various insects and weeds, along with a description of the species. The plant they target and the damage they can do if not dealt with.

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