Spongy (formerly Gypsy) Moth
Gypsy Moth (NC State Extension)
Gypsy moth caterpillars, Lymantria dispar, are serious pests of forest and shade trees, as well as a nuisance to people. This hairy caterpillar has characteristic pairs of blue dots followed by pairs of red dots along its back. The male moth is a active flier and mates with winged but flightless females.
Gypsy Moth (Smithsonian Institution)
From that start, Gypsy Moths have become one of the most important forest pests in the United States, defoliating millions of acres in the northeastern U.S. The Gypsy Moth continues its spread, extending into Virginia, North Carolina and Michigan, with isolated pockets in the Pacific Coast states.
North Carolina Gypsy Moth Program (NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)
Human-caused movement is the greatest contribution to the spread of gypsy moth. High risk industries (timber, moving, etc) are regulated to prevent human-caused movement of gypsy moth.
Spongy Moth (USDA Aphis)
The Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar dispar, also formerly called the European gypsy moth) is native to Europe and first arrived in the United States in Massachusetts in 1869. This moth is a significant pest because the caterpillars have voracious appetites for more than 300 species of trees and shrubs, posing a danger to North America’s forests.