SANTA CRUZ — An Asian gypsy moth has recently been detected at a Santa Cruz residence and is considered to be highly dangerous to crops, trees and homes, county officials warned.
Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner staff has distributed pest traps to help indicate how many of the moths are present.
If infestations are found, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will convene with scientists to determine next steps.
According to the County of Santa Cruz, a female Asian gypsy moth can fly up to 25 miles and lay up to 1,500 eggs, making early detection of an infestation especially important. The gypsy moth caterpillar can eat up to one square foot of leaves per day, potentially feeding on hundreds of tree species.