100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

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.

On August 20, 1912 The US Plant Quarantine Act was signed into law giving the federal government the power to regulate the importation and interstate shipment of plant products that might carry with them insects and diseases. The law was effective in curtailing the spread of the Gypsy Moth beyond the New England area.

Gypsy Moth and caterpillar

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