2015-07-15 / News

Gypsy Moth suppression program

Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick is urging West Virginia landowners to help the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) fight gypsy moths, the state's number one forest pest, through the Cooperative State- County-Landowner (CSCL) Gypsy Moth Suppression Program.

The gypsy moth is still one of the most serious forest pests in West Virginia according to Quentin "Butch" Sayers, WVDA Plant Industries Division Assistant Director.

"The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive insect that feeds on over 500 species of trees and shrubs, including West Virginia hardwoods" said Sayers. "Defoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars can severely weaken trees, making them more susceptible to other pests and diseases, and may ultimately lead to tree mortality. This treatment program helps to safeguard our forest resource including homeowner's trees and our timber and tourism industries, which are vital components of our state's economy." said Sayers.

The CSCL Gypsy Moth Program will accept gypsy moth egg mass survey applications from landowners in Barbour, Berkeley, Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jefferson, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Mineral, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie, Summers, Taylor, Tyler, Tucker, Upshur, Webster and Wetzel Counties. The signup period runs from July 1- August 31.

Landownersmustprovidea71/2-minute topographic map or aerial photo with property boundaries clearly marked. The WVDA cannot map your property for you. Maps are available from the United States GeologicalSurvey at 1- 888-ASK-USGS or their website at http://store.usgs.gov.

The minimum acreage required to participate in the program is 50 contiguous acres of wooded land. Adjoining landowners may combine their properties to meet the acreage requirement. The presence of electrical transmission lines, communication towers, etc. may prohibit some blocks or portions of some blocks from being sprayed.

Application forms and brochures detailing the program are available at the WVDA's Plant Industries Division website at: http://www.agriculture.wv.gov/forms/plant_ industries/Page s/default.aspx

Once applications are received, a forest health protection specialist will visit the landowner's property to determine if the level of gypsy moth infestation meets program guidelines. A final decision to participate in the program must be confirmed by signing a contract and making a deposit to the WVDA by early December. A final payment to the WVDA will be required prior to actual treatment. Notification of the deadline for final payment will be by mail.

For more information, contact WVDA Assistant Director Quentin "Butch" Sayers at qsayers@wvda.us or WVDA Gypsy Moth Program Coordinator, Scott Hoffman at ghoffman@wvda.us 304-788-1066.

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