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The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is urging landowners to sign up for the Cooperative State-County-Landowner (CSCL) Gypsy Moth Suppression Program. The goal of the program is to help slow the spread of the invasive gypsy moth. The sign-up period will run from July 1 through Aug. 31.

Once applications and deposits 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 with the WVDA by early December 2019. 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 gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive insect that feeds on hundreds of species of trees and shrubs, including West Virginia hardwoods. Defoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars can weaken trees, making them more susceptible to other pests and diseases," said WVDA Plant Industries director Tim Brown.

The gypsy moth program will accept gypsy moth egg mass survey applications from landowners within the program area starting July 1.

For information, contact WVDA assistant director Quentin "Butch" Sayers at qsayers@wvda.us or WVDA Gypsy Moth Program coordinator G. Scott Hoffman at ghoffman@wvda.us or 304-788-1066.