The needles on your pine trees have slowly changed from green to yellow. Then from yellowish to red and finally they've become brown. It may be fall, but you know that is not regular. It may be the southern pine beetle to blame...
The likely culprit for the transformation of your pine trees is the Southern Pine Beetle. It accounts for as much pine destruction as any other pest or insect in the southern United States, Mexico and Central America. Below are some facts to know that may help you become acquainted with the Southern Pine Beetle.
- The beetle's impact can stretch from Pennsylvania to Texas and from Arizona and Texas to Honduras. Generally, outbreaks are confined to these areas. Although it can attack all kinds of pine trees, the usual victims are loblolly, shortleaf, Virginia, pond, and pitch pines. If those are planted inside your area, you ought to keep a much more watchful eye.
- The impact of the beetle can be incredibly obvious. The average annual tree mortality might exceed the equivalent of 100 million board feet of saw timber. To put that in perspective, an outbreak of the Southern Pine Beetle between 1973 and 1977 killed the equivalent of 4.5 billion board feet of timber.
- You can find other indications of a beetle infestation, other than the discoloring of pine needles. You will see the tree dripping resin from the point of attack on your tree. That forms a small pitch tube the size of a piece of popcorn. Adult beetles will form rotating, S-shaped galleries that cut across one another. The shape of the galleries is what distinguishes the Southern Pine Beetle from other pests in the south.
- Extreme temperatures control beetle populations. When temperatures fall below 0 degrees or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit for days at a time, beetles die in significant margins. This is a major reason in break out change from year to year.
- Specific insecticides, like lindane or chlorpyrifo, can help protect trees from beetle attacks. It's placed on the trunk of the tree until it really is thoroughly wet. Depending on the area, other methods for controlling beetles consist of the rapid salvage and use of infested trees or the piling and burning of infested elements.
From your yard to parks and national forests, the result that the Southern Pine Beetle can have on our pine trees is considerable. With these facts, you may spot and prevent further infestation.