Gypsy Moth destruction this year is at an all-time low - the lowest in more than 40 years. But in a couple of Burlco towns, the pest's insatiable appetites damaged acres of trees.
The NJ Dept. of Agriculture says aerial surveys of forests and wooded areas of the state revealed Pemberton Township had heavy deforestation on 36 acres. More than half of the trees were stripped bare in that northern Burlington County town. Woodland Township, tucked away in the Pinelands, lost 8 acres.
Worse hit were Wall Township in Monmouth County and Mullica Township in Atlantic County. Each suffered damage on 63 acres of woods.
The department began keeping records in 1970 when it launched an aggressive spraying program to control the pest.
This year, only about 1,100 acres were besieged by the moth's larvae, based on the aerial survey. That's a far cry from the 339,240 acres that were affected in 2008, when the nasty moth's destruction reached record levels.