The Evergreen State has had quite a 2020 so far.
First, it had the early cases of the coronavirus.
Then, it was the "murder hornet."
Now, Washington is facing a new enemy: the Asian gypsy moth.
The issue of the new flying bug is so worrisome that the governor issued an emergency proclamation this week, saying there is an "imminent danger of an infestation."
What's the problem?
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) declared a state of emergency Tuesday over the "imminent danger of an infestation" of the Asian gypsy moth.
The plant-eating pests threaten crops statewide and could have a major impact on the agriculture-heavy state.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture stated that the bugs can cause massive damage.
"If they would become established here, they could cause serious, widespread damage to our country's landscape and natural resources," the USDA said. "Each female moth can lay hundreds of eggs that, in turn, yield hundreds of voracious caterpillars that may feed on more than 500 tree and shrub species."
"Large (Asian gypsy moth) infestations can completely defoliate trees," the agency said. "This defoliation can severely weaken trees and shrubs, making them more susceptible to disease. Repeated defoliation can lead to the death of large sections of forests, orchards and landscaping."
Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Inslee ordered the state to apply aerial insecticide spray to stop any potential infestation.
It's vital to stop the gypsy moths now, since, as the USDA noted, the moths have the ability to fly long distances — meaning they could spread across the nation in no time.