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W.Va. offers spraying program

sign up by Aug. 31

November 30, 1999|By

West Virginia landowners in the Eastern Panhandle are among those who can help the state fight gypsy moths, the state's No. 1 plant pest.

This year's moth suppression program will accept egg mass survey applications from landowners in several counties, including Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in the Eastern Panhandle.

The signup period runs from now through Aug. 31.

The gypsy moth "eats a wide variety of trees and shrubs, and West Virginia's vast forest resources offer an ideal habitat for this invasive pest to feed upon," said Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass.

The gypsy moth feeds on more than 500 species, including West Virginia hardwoods. Defoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars can kill trees, or weaken them substantially, making them more susceptible to other pests and diseases.

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To join the program, landowners must provide a topographic map with property boundaries clearly marked. Topographic maps are available from the United States Geological Survey at 1-800-ASK-USGS or their Website at http://store.usgs.gov

You and/or your neighbors must have at least 50 contiguous acres of wooded land to participate. Blocks must be made as rectangular as possible to be treated properly by aircraft without significant overspray.

Application forms and brochures detailing the program are available at local WVU Extension offices, and at the WVDA field office in Inwood. It's phone number is 304-229-5828.

After an application is received, a forest health expert will visit the property to determine whether the level of gypsy moth infestation meets guidelines.

The 2007 landowner costs were $11.51 per acre for Btk and $8.65 per acre for Dimilin, but prices for the coming year may be higher. A 50 percent cost share on treatments may be available.

For more information, contact WVDA Plant Industries Division Assistant Director Clark Haynes at 304-558-2212 or Gypsy Moth Program Manager Quentin "Butch" Sayers at 304-788-1066.

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