GYPSY MOTH SUPPRESSION PROGRAM TO COMBAT INFESTATION AT
FIVE STATE PARKS
Due to a heavy infestation of gypsy moths on approximately
4,000 acres of state land, the Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) will be conducting a gypsy moth suppression
program with a naturally occurring bacterium, Bacillus Thuringiensis
As part of the suppression program, five state parks, forests
and fish and wildlife areas in Passaic, Bergen, and Burlington
counties will be aerially sprayed beginning the second week
of May and ending, weather permitting, by June 1.
More than 132,000 acres in New Jersey were affected by
gypsy moth larvae in 2000, which represents a significant
increase from the 1,375 acres in 1999. Between 1991 and
1997 gypsy moth populations were kept at low levels by the
Japanese fungus Entomophaga Maimaiga. The effectiveness
of this fungus was diminished by the drought years of 1998
and 1999, resulting in the current, large return of gypsy
moths across the state.
"In an effort to curb the growing gypsy moth population,
we will treat the state's most heavily infested public areas,"
said State Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn.
"The suppression program uses a biological insecticide targeted
specifically to the gypsy moth. This necessary measure to
fight the infestation will benefit forest resources, park
users and residents living near state lands who are impacted
by the migrating gypsy moth caterpillars."
Actual spray dates will be available at the following participating
State Park Service and State Fish and Wildlife areas beginning
- Long Pond-Ironworks State Park, Passaic County, (973-962-7031)
- Norvin Green State Forest, Passaic County, (973-962-7031)
- Ramapo State Forest, Passaic and Bergen counties, (973-962-7031)
- Rancocas State Park, Burlington County, (609-726-1191)
- Ringwood State Park, Bergen and Passaic counties, (973-962-7031)
- Wanaque Fish and Wildlife Area, Passaic County, (973-962-7031)
Gypsy moth eggs which hatch in April or May, are most
commonly found in oak trees. The insects feed on and denude
foliage, causing trees to weaken and become more susceptible
to diseases and wood boring insects.
For more information about the gypsy moth suppression program
contact the DEP's State Forestry Service at 609-292-2520.