Drought brings on pine beetle infestation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Drought brings on pine beetle infestation

Dead pine trees (Source: WALB) Dead pine trees (Source: WALB)
Mark McClure (Source: WALB) Mark McClure (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)

Georgia Forestry Commission Rangers say the drought has brought on problems with three species of pine bark beetles in the state, but fortunately, the most destructive is not in our area.

Rangers are checking daily around Southwest Georgia pine trees, to monitor the pine beetles. The Southern Pine Beetle has only been seen on the Georgia coast.

Due to the drought, numerous "Ips engraver" beetles infestations are being seen across Southwest Georgia.   These beetles attack and kill weakened stressed pine trees. Black turpentine beetles are being detected in some urban areas.

"Mid August, and we didn't have any sites around. We weren't even seeing them.  All of the sudden, six weeks of no rain, a lot of stress on the trees.  So that stress, the beetles are just honing in on these pine trees," said Mark McClure Ga Forestry Commission Forest Health Specialist.

The black turpentine beetles can be sprayed to possibly save the tree, but the ips engraver attack the top of the tree, and there is no control for those.

Rangers are urging people with lightning struck or infested trees to remove them immediately, because they are a danger.

You can learn more about Georgia Pine Beetles here.

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