2017 Gypsy Moth Aerial Suppression Program

Posted: May 4, 2017

Updated May 19, 2017: Gypsy moth spraying has been completed for Vernon.

Gypsy moth egg mass surveys, conducted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, indicate that gypsy moth populations will be very high during May and June 2017. Leaf feeding by the caterpillars of this pest will cause severe defoliation of many of our trees. Consequently, Vernon Township has entered into a cooperative control program with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and the United States Forest Service. This program is being operated on an integrated approach, utilizing a pesticide with a naturally occurring active ingredient to reduce defoliating population of this forest pest. The aerial spraying will be employed around residential and recreational areas to reduce tree loss, while natural control agents will be encouraged to reduce pest levels in remote, uninhabited areas.

In your area, the only biological insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (FORAY 76B, EPA Reg. #73049-49) will be applied once by aircraft at a dosage rate of 38 B.l.U.s (64 oz.) per acre by Downstown Airport, Inc.

The spray operation is expected to begin on or after May 15, 2017 through June 16, 2017, or until completion. The exact date of application will depend on climatic conditions and the development of the caterpillars and trees in your area. A township contact can be reached at the administration office at 973.764.4055, ext. 2240 to answer any questions you may have about the exact timing and dates of treatment.

To ensure precise placement of the spray material, aircraft will conduct treatments only when there is little or no wind. Daily spray operations normally are conducted in the early morning between 5:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and possibly between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the evening. However, NO pesticide application for gypsy moth control will take place between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Although Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki use has very minimal risk to humans or wildlife, individuals wishing no exposure to either themselves or their children, before or after this one hour no spray shutdown time should remain indoors during the treatment. If you must go outside, wear rain gear or use an umbrella to prevent contact with spray material, especially if you hear the aircraft working in your area.

Trained personnel for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and Vernon Township will assist in the program. Pilots will be carefully briefed to ensure that the spray material is being applied in the proper areas, as directed.

The program is being conducted to protect and preserve the municipality and your valuable shade tree resources. Your understanding and cooperation will be very much appreciated.

Individuals wishing additional information about pesticides may contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 800.858.7378. For emergencies, call the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System at 800.222.1222. For pesticide regulation information, pesticide complaints and health referrals, call the New Jersey Pesticide Control Program at 609.984.6507.

Upon request, the pesticide applicator or applicator business shall provide a resident with notification twelve (12) hours prior to the application, except for Quarantine and Disease Vector Control only, when conditions necessitate pesticide application sooner than that time. Additional information about the program is also available at the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s website.

aerial spraying map