Southwest Mississippi seeing historic Southern pine beetle invasion
Published: August 13,2012
SOUTHWEST MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Forestry Commission says the first Southern pine beetle outbreak to hit southwest Mississippi in nearly 20 years has apparently doubled in size and shows no signs of slowing.
The Enterprise-Journal reports officials are urging landowners in Franklin, Amite, Wilkinson, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln and Copiah counties to check for the beetles, which bore into living pine trees and can kill them.
The forestry commission says a recent survey of the Homochitto National Forest found about 500 active infestations, with another 160 located on private and school lands. That’s up from 250 found in late May and June.
Officials say current infestations are affecting pine trees of all ages and sizes.
Some of the spots were rapidly expanding in July, said John Riggins, an assistant professor of forest entomology at Mississippi State University who checked some of the Homochitto National Forest infestations in early July.
Forestry officials say pine beetle epidemics occur about every 15 years and last three to five years.
The beetles can cause stands of trees to fade and shed their needles.
The tell-tale sign is pitch tubes — dirty white balls of pine sap that have leaked out through the bark. Foresters say they look a bit like popcorn and are a quarter- to a half-inch across.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
Top Posts & Pages
- Officials set hunting dates for birds; expands dove season by 20 days
- FLIPPING OUT — Flipping houses is popular in much of the country, but in Mississippi ...
- REVVING UP — Motorcars of Jackson is preparing to open its first-ever showroom on I-55
- George Flaggs regrets repayment flaw in lending law
- Mississippi judge dismisses lawsuit seeking to overturn Sen. Cochran's GOP primary win
- TECH 21 — Mississippi's most wanted in technology
- Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto are dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’ in the development of Seafood R’evolution, which is set to open in November
- Bryant issues executive order to establish Delta water task force
- PEDIGREE dog food recalled; might contain metal fragments