Gypsy moth treatment plan announced for Burlington County


The New Jersey Department of Agriculture held a briefing in Ewing on Jan. 5 to outline their 2022 aerial gypsy moth control program. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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The New Jersey Department of Agriculture held a briefing in Ewing on Jan. 5 to outline their 2022 aerial gypsy moth control program. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) has proposed treating approximately 5,000 acres of residential and county-owned properties in Burlington and Cape May counties this year to control the tree-killing gypsy moth caterpillar. .

“The treatment program has been shown to be very effective in recent years and has dramatically reduced gypsy moth caterpillar populations statewide,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher said in a statement. “By treating these areas now, we can prevent the spread of this insect and keep populations at a minimal level for years to come.” “

The NJDA hosted a briefing in Ewing on January 5 to outline their 2022 aerial gypsy moth control program.

Egg mass surveys were conducted from August to December in 2021.

According to the release, seven municipalities in Burlington County and Cape May County combined are recommended for treatment.

Participation in the program is voluntary. If the municipalities agree, the treatments will take place in May and June.

To be eligible for the program, a residential or recreational forest must have an average of more than 500 egg masses per acre and be at least 50 acres in size. A single egg mass contains up to 1000 eggs.

Less than 200 acres have been recommended for treatment in 2021, also in Burlington and Cape May counties. The Burlington County Municipality opted out of treatment last year and 50 acres were treated in Cape May County, the statement said.

No areas of the state were recommended for treatment in 2019 and 2020. In 2018, the NJDA program included approximately 4,000 acres of residential and county-owned properties in Burlington, Morris, Passaic and Warren counties. . This is a reduction of around 80% from the 2017 schedule, the statement said. Defoliation has decreased due to a combination of effective treatments and E. sporadic maimaiga (gypsy moth fungus), reducing populations.

The NJDA and the Department of Environmental Protection use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to control gypsy moth. It is a biological insecticide that kills the gypsy moth caterpillar when ingested, the statement said.

According to the release, two to three consecutive years of heavy defoliation (defined as 75% or more) can kill an otherwise healthy tree. However, any defoliation by gypsy moth can make trees more susceptible to other damage that can lead to tree death. Oaks are the preferred host for gypsy moths, but the caterpillars can feed on almost any tree in the area.

For more information on the New Jersey gypsy moth control program, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/gypsymoth.html.

For national Gypsy Moth material, visit www.fs.fed.us/research/invasive-species/insects/gypsy-moth.php.

To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, visit www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture or www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial


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