Gypsy moths are not much of a problem for the Garden State this year, as only 1,068 acres of trees were found to have moderate to heavy damage from the leaf-munching pests, the lowest year of defoliation since the state began keeping records in 1970.
Aerial surveys by the state found heavy damage to trees in only 21 municipalities in 10 counties. The worst forest defoliation was found in Atlantic County, but also noted in Burlington, Cape May, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Ocean, Salem, Sussex and Warren counties.
Gypsy moths are one of the most damaging pests to hardwood trees in this area of the country. They lay their eggs on trees and emerge in May and early June. The state conducted an aerial survey in July. This year, no spray program was needed due to low populations of the bugs.