Charleston, WV (AP) -- Helicopters will soon crisscross West Virginia's forests as part of this year's gypsy moth suppression program.
The State Department of Agriculture said the aerial spraying effort could begin the first full week of May depending on when moth eggs hatch.
This year about 39,000 acres will be sprayed in Berkeley, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Monroe, Morgan, Pocahontas and Preston counties.
Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass said aerial surveys show at least 81,000 acres of forest were defoliated last year.
Douglass has predicted that this could be a bad year for gypsy moths.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)