Don’t give bugs a free ride

Invasive bugs like moths can do a lot of damage if they hop on a ride when your personal belongings are being moved. They can destroy and damage your clothes. Moths also metastasize quickly, lay thousands of eggs that can turn into a nightmare when your belongings finally arrive to your overseas destination.

In particular, and most recently in the news during the summer, gypsy moths have consumed more than 93 million acres in the U.S. since 1970 and can defoliate up to 13 million acres of trees in just one season if left untreated. That’s why the federal government has joined the moving and storage industries to stop the spread of the invasive insect.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires anyone moving from an area of gypsy moths to a non-infested area to provide an official certificate of inspection of all common outdoor household items that could carry the gypsy moths. To meet the requirement, one can perform a self-inspection of household articles or hire a state-certified pesticide applicator.

To ensure gypsy moths, moths and other pesky insects won’t be with your personal belongings especially in outside household items, be sure to do the following:
• Inspect outdoor household goods such as grills, lawn furniture, outdoor toys and games, camping equipment, anything items left outside or in your garage before the items are packed.
• Look for gypsy moth egg masses, female moths lay their eggs and caterpillars spread during the summer and fall months.
• Removing the egg masses is simple by using a putty knife, stiff brush or similar hand tool.
• Dispose the egg masses in a container of hot, soapy water, or you can place them in a sealed plastic bag and set it in the sun. You can also dispose them in a garbage can but please be sure the bag is completely sealed.

You can contact the USDA directly for free information about gypsy moths before moving and if you should have any questions.

Safe moving!