Photo by Fabio Stergulc / Università di Udine, Bugwood.org
The southern pine beetle is an extremely destructive pest that can devastate pine trees in both forests and urban settings. At maturity, this diminutive pest is scarcely larger than a grain of rice, yet it causes a tremendous amount of damage to pine trees in Florida and across the southern Unites States. Typically, the beetle invades trees that are older, have suffered damage and have trunks that are less than 6 inches in diameter. However, during severe outbreaks, the pest will also begin attacking healthy trees. The southern pine beetle prefers to invade loblolly, Virginia, pitch and shortleaf pine trees.
Because the southern pine beetle attacks trees internally, most people are not aware of a problem until significant damage has already been done. Female beetles are responsible for determining what tree to live in and they begin boring holes at the base of … Read Full Post »