The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is urging landowners to sign up for the Cooperative State-County-Landowner (CSCL) Gypsy Moth Suppression program.
The program is focused on protecting the landowners’ forested acreage from the invasive gypsy moth. The sign-up period runs from July 1 until Aug. 31.
“West Virginia’s forests are one of our state’s most important resources,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “From tourism to our timber industry, our forests are an important economic driver. As we face more invasive species such as the spotted lanternfly, we hope people will take advantage of programs like these.”
The CSCL Gypsy Moth program started accepting gypsy moth egg mass survey applications from landowners statewide on July 1. Application forms and brochures are available at the WVDA’s Plant Industries Division website. Landowners may also obtain applications at local WVU Extension offices and WVDA field offices in Charleston (304-558-2212) or New Creek (304-788-1066). A nonrefundable survey deposit of $1 per acre is required. This deposit will be applied toward treatment if the landowner qualifies.
“The gypsy moth is a nonnative, invasive insect that feeds on hundreds of species of trees and shrubs, including West Virginia hardwoods,” said WVDA Plant Industries Assistant Director Butch Sayers. “Defoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars can weaken trees, making them more susceptible to other pests and diseases. This treatment program helps safeguard our forests from further damage.”
Minimum acreage is 50 contiguous acres of wooded land. Adjoining landowners may combine to meet the requirement. Once applications and deposits are received, a forest health protection specialist will determine if the infestation meets guidelines. A contract must be signed with the WVDA by early December.
For more information, contact WVDA Assistant Director Quentin “Butch” Sayers at firstname.lastname@example.org or WVDA Gypsy Moth Program Coordinator G. Scott Hoffman at email@example.com.