Spraying for pine beetles must be done now
Published: Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Though the mountain pine beetle epidemic is raging in the southern and central Black Hills, Dr. John Ball, forest health specialist for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, told a crowd of about 25 people at Crazy Horse last week that pesticide treatment is a good way to protect a small number of pine trees, typical for many landowners. But because of the life cycle of the beetle, time is running out for spraying to be effective this year. Landowners must take immediate action.
Ball and other S.D. Department of Agriculture officials, Brian Garbisch, forest health program leader; Marcus Warnicke, forest health forester; Elijah Small, forest health intern; and Dave Thom from the Custer County Conservation District were on hand at Crazy Horse to educate and answer questions from the public regarding the current epidemic.
“You have probably really noticed the dead trees this spring but it is nothing compared to what you’ll see this summer. It will be five times the expansion. No one can stop this epidemic. We can suppress it, but we can’t stop it,” said Ball.
It was stated that landowners who can see beetle activity within a few miles of their property should consider spraying to protect their trees. The spray is effective for one season and must be sprayed every year until the epidemic subsides. Ball believes that means spraying should be done every year for the next three to five years.
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