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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Gypsy Moth' Category


New Jersey Rejects Toxic Sprays for Gypsy Moths

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2007) On January 29, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) concluded a month-long review of the Department of Agriculture’s (NJDA) petition to waive the state’s ban on aerial-spraying of broad-spectrum pesticides. The state will uphold the ban, effectively blocking widespread use of the chemical Dimilin. The ban affects towns seeking to reduce rising gypsy moth populations. Roughly 125,000 acres of trees suffered defoliation in the state as a result of gypsy moths, one of the worst years in recent memory. Gypsy moths have been in New Jersey since the 1920s, and their destruction peaking in 1981, with 800,000 acres defoliated. Dimilin is a restricted-use pesticide (available only to certified applicators) that has been unavailable for broadcast use for decades. For the past 20 years, in lieu of aerial spraying of Dimilin — also known as diflubenzuron — the pesticide specified in NJDA’s request, New Jersey towns have used bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) , a bacterial agent. With gypsy moth populations expected to be higher in 2007 than in recent years, NJDA argued that Bt would be insufficient to protect hardwood trees across the state. In a letter to NJDA, Marcedius T. Jameson, DEP’s administrator for […]



NJ Groups Oppose Lifting 20-Year Ban on Chemical Gypsy Moth Control

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2007) A proposal is underway within New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture (DOA) to lift a 20-year ban on the use of Dimilin (diflubenzuron) for gypsy moth suppression. The State’s DOA is proposing to amend its regulations (N.J.A.C. 2:23) to permit the synthetic chemical pesticide to be aerially sprayed over forested residential areas (estimated to be 50,000 acres) in 14 counties where egg mass counts are over 4,000 per acre. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Parks and Forestry may propose using Dimilin in state park areas where the egg masses are 4,000 per acre or more — potentially treating up to an additional 28,000 acres.The New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF) has taken action to stop the plan. In a letter co-signed by an additional 25 organizations to the Commissioners of DEP and DOA, they state, “While gypsy moth is a nuisance pest and can contribute to oak tree mortality, it is not a human health threat, nor a disease vector. We believe that given the potential harm to human health and biodiversity by the chemical pesticide Dimilin, the Departments should err on the side of caution and stand by their regulations that […]