ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Tree experts are warning that pine beetles are becoming nearly epidemic around the Albany area.
Dozens of pine trees in Dougherty and Lee County neighborhoods are infested.
Lee Harper said he is very busy these days spraying pine trees to guard them against pine beetles.
"This is the worst year I've ever seen them," said Harper.
Driving around the homes in the Edith Drive and Martindale Drive area, you can see dozens of dead pine trees, killed by pine beetles.
Trees hit by lightning are distressed, and usually start the insect invasion.
"They drill into it. Lay their eggs. They hatch. They go all the way through the tree. Kill it, and come back out of the bottom and leave sawdust at the bottom. And then they attack your other trees," said Harper.
In one yard alone, there are 19 pine trees, and only 2 were not dead from pine beetles.
This sticky goo on the outside is the bugs drilling in.
Sawdust at the bottom is a sign they have already infested the tree.
Tree experts like Harper are licensed to spray a pesticide that will protect trees from pine beetles.
He said especially if there are dead pine trees near your yard, you need to call a tree service and have your pines sprayed.
Beetles are busy in South Georgia right now.
Harper charges $15 per tree for spraying. But if the beetles kill your pine tree, it will cost from $300 to $700 to take them down.