The US Plant Quarantine Act Signed Into Law
The Gypsy Moth was introduced into the United States in 1868 by a French scientist living in Massachusetts trying to make a caterpillar/silk worm hybrid that could resist diseases. When some of the moths escaped from his lab they found suitable habitat and started to multiply. Gypsy Moths attack many species of hardwood trees resulting in defoliation and the death of the tree. During outbreaks the sound of moths chewing and dropping excrement may be loud enough to sound like light to moderate rainfall. The first US outbreak occurred in 1889.