Pine Beetle epidemic: What's being done and how you can help - KOTA Territory News

Pine Beetle epidemic: What's being done and how you can help

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Every 40 years the Black Hills experiences a Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic.

Entomologists and foresters say the Hills will look a lot different when it's over, but for now, they're doing what they can to minimize loss.  

Foresters and entomologists say it may be the beginning of the end for the infestation season.

Pine beetles in the Black Hills will fly for the next three weeks but should tail off by the end of September.

Entomologists say this does not mean private land owners are safe from infestations.

John Ball says with the help of the forest service, they are trying to help control the spread of pine beetles by thinning the forest.   

"But you're also opening up that stand so that you're getting more turbulence in the air being carried up," said ball. "It's making it harder for the beetles to mass attack because that's their success." 

Thinning the forest isn't the only thing preventing the spread of pine beetles, another beetle is helping out.

Wood Boring beetles attack already stressed tree's, many from pine beetles, and unintentionally eat pine beetle larva from infested tree's.   

"We had many instances were we couldn't find larva in tree's because like I said the resource was already degraded you could tell that wood borings had been there," said Angie Ambourn with the U.S. Forest Service.

Foresters and entomologists are looking for the public's help in the fight against pine beetles, they say if you notice a white and yellow sap consistency coming out of a tree to contact your local forest service office.

And if you want to attend workshops about the pine beetle epidemic, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture are hosting them on the following dates:

Sept. 19th - Doty Fire Hall

Sept. 26th - Cuter County Annex/Library

Oct. 3rd - Lead High School

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