Highland Lakes

Country Club and Community Association

Gypsy Moths

It was not until two weeks ago when the first gypsy moth infestation reports were received at the Club office. Since then, a list of members reporting problems has been prepared, information is being gathered, and communications with the office of Mayor Marotta have been established.

Our problems have also been communicated to Joseph Zoltowski, Director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry (the “Division”). Mr. Zoltowski reports that last year’s aerial survey of our area did not note areas of defoliation, and this year’s survey by the Division is being conducted within the next week or so. He commented “Remember that the trees are not dead and will refoliate even though they are stripped of foliage. Certainly a lot of calls of gypsy moth sightings in the northern counties of the state, even from areas where we did not find any egg masses during our surveys.”  He also reported that eastern Pennsylvania is severely affected, and migration on the wind may be one source of our area’s problems this year.

The opportunity for aerial spraying this year has passed. In order for that to have taken place, municipalities must request a fall ground survey of egg masses. Based on the count per acre, a recommendation is made whether aerial spraying is warranted.

Highland Lakes sent a letter this week to Mayor Marotta asking that Vernon Township request that the Division conduct a ground survey this fall. If spraying in the spring of 2016 is determined to be warranted, then a cost sharing agreement by Vernon with the Division is required. We have requested Mayor Marotta’s support for the inclusion of sufficient funds in next year’s municipal budget to accomplish aerial spraying.

There are options for individual homeowners – this link from the Division is helpful. Detailed information about the gypsy moth is available from many sources – Penn State’s page is also helpful. This is an interesting link about the gypsy moth’s life cycle.

We are all concerned about the loss of our trees. However, Mr. Zoltowski has commented that a healthy tree can withstand two and perhaps three years of defoliation before succumbing to the stress of gypsy moth defoliation. It is that fact that makes preparations for aerial spraying in 2016 critically important.

Discussions will be taking place with companies that conduct ground spraying as suggested by the Division. Homeowners are encouraged to read the information below (thanks to Steve Zane and Mary Romme for the information from the City of Glendale, Wisconsin) and implement the suggested measures. As information develops we will update the website. Should you wish to help in this community effort and/or report a problem on your property, please drop an email or call me at the Club office. Thank you.

Jack McLaughlin
General Manager


What To Do About Gypsy Moths in your Backyard

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