I first noticed them when visiting my son’s family in West Milford, then again when I visited the NJ Botanical Gardens in Ringwood State Park. They seemed to be everywhere, from crawling as youngsters to flying as adults. The trees were providing less shade than was expected for mid-June or July. It became obvious to this arborist and forester – they were back, and with a vengeance… By "they" I mean the dreaded gypsy moth – as young hairy caterpillars eating leaves and then as adult moths looking to lay eggs for next year’s onslaught… "The Department of Agriculture’s intense surveillance program is designed to keep gypsy moth populations at bay," New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. "When populations increase dramatically like this year, we will aggressively survey to determine the severity of next year’s gypsy moth problem and recommend spraying in areas where it is warranted."… This article was written by Nicholas Polanin, associate professor, agricultural agent II, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension of Somerset County.
/ / THE GARDENER STATE: They’re Baaack!