The gypsy moths that destroyed or severely damaged hundreds of thousands of acres of trees throughout the state for about a century have virtually disappeared in southern New Jersey, The Press of Atlantic City reported. Aerial surveys now show evidence of the tree pests in only 76 acres in three counties. The gypsy moth was introduced in the United States in Massachusetts in 1869 by a French botanist trying to develop a silkworm industry. Some eventually escaped from his laboratory and spread to 19 states.
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