Are you Moving from a Gypsy Moth Quarantined Area? What You Need to Know Before You Move

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The laws that surround a relocation from a gypsy moth quarantined area may not be public knowledge. American Van Lines is spreading awareness about how to prevent the spread of gypsy moth and the lawful ways to relocate from a gypsy moth quarantined area.

Gypsy Moth Quarantine Map - North America

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 USDA and APHIS

If you live in a quarantined area and you intend to move to another state that is not infested with gypsy moth, there is vital information that you need to know.

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).

American Van Lines moving company feels obligated to help spread awareness about the growing gypsy moth epidemic. As national movers we are equally responsible for aiding the USDA-APHIS in their 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 $250,000.00 per occurrence.

An inspection certification is easy to get. You can either do a Self Inspection or pay a State-licensed inspector to do it for you.

Moving companies will not move your outdoor items unless you can provide proof of inspection that your outdoor articles are free of all gypsy moth life stages.

Both Self Inspections and hiring a USDA-trained Inspector are acceptable forms of inspection by the USDA - APHIS. With a certificate of inspection obtained after performing one of the two methods listed below, you will be free of liability if stopped by officials when traveling.

1) Self Inspection

Using the Self Inspection Checklist located on the last page of the "Don’t Move Gypsy Moth" Program Aid, 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.

Note: Inspections must not take place more than 5 days prior to traveling to avoid re-infestation.

1. Scrap egg masses from their locations with a putty knife, stiff brush, or similar hand tool.
2. 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.
3. You can choose to get rid of articles if they are heavily infested and have little value to you.
4. Keep the checklist as an official certificate. Be sure to enter the date and place inspected, and then sign at the bottom.

Give this document to the 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.

2) USDA-trained Certified Pesticide Inspector

Participating State-licensed pesticide inspectors 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.

A certificate must accompany your outdoor household items while in transit. If you are stopped by officials during transit and your items are found to have gypsy moth, this official document will relieve you of liability.

Contact the USDA – APHIS Cargo Inspection Policy Department at 301-734-8295 for a list of State-licensed pesticide inspectors.

What is Gypsy Moth?

The gypsy moth is a particular kind of moth that feeds on hardwood trees, leaves and shrubs at an alarming rate. The Gypsy Moth defoliates plants from their base, completely killing trees, which have damaging affects on the ecosystem. At its most dangerous stage of life (caterpillar), gypsy moth has been known to defoliate up to 13 million acres of trees in 1 season.

This insect can gestate on outdoor household items. The spread of gypsy moth is attributed to movers who were either unaware or failed to properly inspect and clear their items before moving to unaffected areas.

Refer to the Don’t Move Gypsy Moth Program Aid for information on gypsy moth and its life cycles.

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Anthony DiSorbo
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