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Gypsy Moth Destruction

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On July 3 I went after this geocache in State Game Lands 135 in Eastern Pennsylvania. Heading through Lackawanna State Forest and SGL 135 considerable destruction by the gypsy moth was observed. In May we observed a considerable number of these pests in Worlds End State Park and adjacent Loyalsock (formerly Wyoming) State Forest.




We believe misery wants company. Who else has seen this type of destruction this year?


Thank you.


Waterboy With Wife

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This article says it all.


Caterpillars plague parts of N.J.

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 06/10/06




Shamong resident Karen Romanchak won't venture outside to use her grill.

And she will most likely cancel her son's birthday party, which she usually holds outdoors.


Even sitting in her sunroom is out of the question because of the constant pattering of caterpillar feces on the roof.


For Romanchak, 44, the sound of the tiny pellets, reminiscent of a soft rain shower, is a maddening reminder of the ecological devastation going on all around her.


The hospital clinical assistant has been overrun by gypsy moth caterpillars.


In a span of about a month, the voracious pests have chewed through thousands of acres of forests. The counties hit hardest have been Ocean and Burlington.


The outbreak is shaping up to be the worst in New Jersey since 2001, when more than 140,000 acres were defoliated.


Bruce Longo is a 55-year-old sales manager from Tabernacle. The concrete patio around his pool is smeared with feces stains that won't wash away, even with a power washer.


His grounds are littered with thousands of caterpillars he killed with pesticides.


"It's like something out of a horror movie. It's the grossest thing I've seen in my life," he said.


The caterpillars have even stripped the needles off Longo's pine trees.


Although the caterpillars usually go after oaks and other deciduous trees, they will defoliate just about anything, said Joe Zoltowski, who leads the gypsy-moth control program for the state's Department of Agriculture.


The current outbreak seems to have spread from state-owned land, such as Wharton State Forest, where gypsy-moth spray programs are not very aggressive, he said.


Dry weather has also suppressed growth of a fungus present in the soil that can help control gypsy moth populations, he said.


Compounding the problem was Shamong's lack of participation in the Agriculture Department's annual aerial spraying of pesticide, Zoltowski said. Wharton State Forest encompasses more than half of the 46-square-mile township.


The spraying program would have cost the township about $80,000, Shamong Mayor Jon Shevelew said. He regrets this decision but said state officials did not indicate the outbreak would be this bad.


"But even the townships that sprayed are having a horrible time," he said, adding that Shamong plans to spray next year.


Of the 27,000 acres the state has sprayed this spring, about 24,000 acres have been in Ocean County or Burlington County.


Trees frequently recover after the first time they've been defoliated, Zoltowski said. But this is the second round of defoliation for many parts of the two counties.


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Wow, that is the worst damage I've seen. Things were pretty bad around here a few years ago, especially in the Ramapo SF area but nothing like what this picture shows.


I was hunting caches up above Monksville Reservoir a few weeks ago and there were a lot of caterpillers but not much damage yet. Don't know how it is now. I've seen little to no damage in Northern Bergen County. I was over at Mt. Beacon on Monday and there were just a few caterpillers.

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