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Photo by USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
The Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar) defoliates many different deciduous tree species including aspen and oak. The Spongy Moth has been found throughout the US and is more heavily concentrated in the northeast. It has been found in twelve counties in Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. The lure that attracts Lymantria dispar also attracts the Lymantria dispar asiatica, the LDA moth.
The Spongy Moth Survey in Wyoming is conducted by USDA APHIS PPQ, Wyoming State Forestry, National Park Service, US Forest Service, and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. A sticky trap with lure attractants is placed in a potential risk area from May until October. The traps are collected and monitored for suspects at the end of the field season. If suspects are found they are sent to a USDA lab in Texas for DNA analysis.