Gypsy moths are causing the least amount of damage to trees in New Jersey since the state began targeting the insects in 1970.
The Agriculture Department’s annual aerial defoliation survey shows 1,068 acres of trees in 21 towns sustained moderate to heavy damage this year.
Tree damage was found in Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Ocean, Salem, Sussex and Warren counties. The most damage seen was in Mullica Township in Atlantic County, which had 344 acres of mostly moderate defoliation.
Gypsy moth caterpillars lay their eggs on trees and emerge in May and early June.
No spray program was needed this year due to the low population of bugs.