CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Farmers who want to help the West Virginia Department of Agriculture fight gypsy months can sign up now for the annual suppression program.
Commissioner Walt Helmick says applications are available starting Monday. The deadline to return them is Aug. 31.
Participants must have at least 50 contiguous acres.
Agriculture officials say the gypsy moth is one of the most serious pests in the state's forest. It's a non-native, invasive insect that feeds on 500 species of trees and shrubs, including West Virginia hardwoods.
Defoliation can kill trees and make them more vulnerable to other pests and diseases.
Spraying helps protect an important natural resource and the state's timber and tourism industries.