CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gypsy moth defoliated 44,282 acres of state, federal and private forestland in West Virginia in 2009, down from nearly 81,308 acres in 2008, according to studies conducted by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
Agriculture Commissioner Gus R. Douglass stated that “cool, moist conditions during late April and May were ideal for the development of both a fungus and a virus that help control gypsy moth populations. The naturally occurring insect pathogens are primarily responsible for the population decline in untreated areas.”
Defoliation from the gypsy moth was recorded in the following five eastern West Virginia counties: Greenbrier, 19,799 acres; Hardy, 96; Monroe, 21,193; Pendleton, 2,490 and Pocahontas, 704.
Most of the recorded defoliation was considered light. There were a few spots along the Virginia border in Greenbrier, Monroe, Pendleton and Pocahontas counties that had heavy defoliation.
For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Agriculture Plant Industries Division at 304-558-2212.
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