SOUTHWEST MISSISSIPPI — Southern pine beetle populations are on the rise in southwest Mississippi, and foresters are warning of a potential outbreak and urging landowners to be on the lookout for the tree-killing pests.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission says populations of the borer beetles that attack and kill live trees are increasing in the area for the first time since 1996. Officials say the elevated activity may be a precursor to an upcoming major outbreak.
The Enterprise-Journal reports officials are warning landowners in Franklin, Amite, Wilkinson, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln and Copiah counties to inspect their lands.
In May and June, U.S. Forest Service personnel in the Homochitto National Forest found 250 cases of active pine beetle infestations.