For Immediate Release - April 7, 2008

Gypsy Moth Invading Livingston NJ This Spring

Mountainside, NJ—The caterpillar population is expected to increase this spring in the Livingston area as egg masses have already been spotted in trees. Egg masses may contain 100 to more than 1,000 eggs.

Gypsy moth defoliation can severely impact the health of trees and shrubs and make them more susceptible to other injuries, diseases, and insect attacks that can eventually lead to plant death, as well as interfere with outdoor activities. Consecutive years of significant defoliation can also kill an otherwise healthy tree.

SavATree ISA Certified Arborist Scott Lamm states, “I am concerned about the decline of tree health in this community, especially since last year many trees experienced heavy caterpillar damage. I recommend that concerned residents contact their arborist to proactively inspect their trees and determine the severity of the infestation as it relates to their property. A trained eye can spot the presence of egg masses on trunks and bark and make appropriate recommendations. It is also important because timing of application is important for good control.”

The gypsy moth was introduced to the Massachusetts area in 1869 in a failed attempt to breed the insect for the production of silk. With some escaping the breeding facility, it was as soon as the early 1900’s that vast areas of hardwoods were being defoliated across New England, by this aggressive pest.

Although Oaks are generally considered the meal of choice, in areas of heavy populations. Gypsy moths will feed on Apples, Maples, Birch, Willow, and many other deciduous trees. In extreme cases, they will also feed on Spruce, Pine, Hemlock, and other evergreens, many of which cannot survive a single season of severe infestation.

Caterpillars begin hatching in early May, with feeding activity continuing through mid-June. ISA Certified Arborists are here to help you contend with this potential infestation with practical and responsible methods to help preserve your beloved trees.

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