Gypsy moth in New Zealand

The gypsy moth, an invasive species from Eurasia, was discovered in New Zealand. The gypsy moth has potentially disastrous effects on New Zealand agriculture; an intensive eradication programme was planned and undertaken, and the moth did not become established.[1]

An adult white female gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar).

Gypsy moth eggs are frequently found during border biosecurity checks, commonly on used vehicles, and were first discovered in the 1990s.[2]

2003 Hamilton Gypsy Moth spray


In 2003 a live adult moth in viable condition was found in an early warning pheromone trap in the North Island city of Hamilton. Since Hamilton is an entry point for a large amount of international air freight it was presumed that the moth had entered New Zealand in an aircraft. An aerial pesticide spraying programme by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry using the Foray 48B insecticide was carried out over the city from October 2003.[3] Health concerns were raised, but a report to the Ministry of Health concluded that there were no grounds for the concerns.[4] In 2004, The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry declined Hamilton's Fraser High School's compensation claim for the cost of relief teachers to cover staff absences during the operation.[5]

See also



  1. ^ "Eradicated - Lymantria dispar". Biosecurity New Zealand. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  2. ^ Armstrong, K. F.; McHugh, P.; Chinn, W.; Frampton, E. R.; Walsh, P. J. (2003). "Tussock Moth species arriving on imported used vehicles determined by DNA analysis" (PDF). New Zealand Plant Protection. 56: 16–20. doi:10.30843/nzpp.2003.56.6025. ISSN 1175-9003. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  3. ^ Biosecurity New Zealand - Frequently asked questions about aerial treatment operations
  4. ^ "Health considerations aerial spraying in Hamilton". Ministry of Health (Scoop news). 9 October 2003. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  5. ^ Fraser High School compensation claim assessed

Further reading

  • Pitt, Joel Peter William; Jacques Régnière; Sue Worner (March 2007). "Risk assessment of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L), in New Zealand based on phenology modelling". Journal International Journal of Biometeorology. 51 (4). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg: 295–305. doi:10.1007/s00484-006-0066-3. ISSN 1432-1254. PMID 17120064. S2CID 13637240.