Asian Gypsy Moth Infestation

During June and July the United States and Canadian authorities intercepted a large number of commercial marine vessels with live Asian gypsy moth (AGM) egg masses on the superstructures of ships and cargo. There have been  information that this year high numbers of AGM adults are flying in some port areas at time of pre-departure inspections. Inspection certificates indicate large numbers of egg masses have been removed and crews report removing hundreds of egg masses post certification.

The Asian gypsy moth, which is to be found predominantly in eastern Russia, northern China and some parts of northern Japan, is an invasive insect and is considered a significant threat to North America’s forests, biodiversity and economy. The high risk periods are determined by the AGM’s “flight season” – when females will be laying eggs. Female AGM are active flyers and are attracted to bright lights, so their eggs may be found in the vicinity of exterior lights and floodlights on vessels. Where powerful shore lights are directed towards the vessel, AGM may be found all over the ship and its cargo. The females may fly and lay eggs between May 15 and October 15, and can literally cover a vessel during that time.

The Master of a marine vessel which has visited ports in AGM  high risk areas (eastern Russia, northern China and some parts of northern Japan) during specified periods (mainly June to September) should:

  • be able to provide to the vessel’s US or Canadian agent a summary of the ports called upon by the vessel for the past 2 years, and
  • be able to provide to the vessel’s US or Canadian agent a copy of a Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) (a list of certificates approved by the CFIA is provided HERE)
  • perform intensive vessel self-inspections to look for, remove (scrape off), and properly destroy all egg masses and other life stages of AGM prior to entering US and Canadian ports to avoid facing inspection delays

The photos below show some of the place on board a ship where eggs of AGM can be found.

Egg mass found on navigation light box

Two small EM’s found under light stand, fwd-port corner of Monkey Island

Egg masses found inside Hold

Egg masses found inside Hold

Sources: Gard, The London P&Iwww.asiangypsymoth.org

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