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The Time for Protection Against Mountain Pine Beetle is Now




For Immediate Release: June 16, 2011

Media Contact: Coe Foss, 605-394-2663


The Time for Protection Against Mountain Pine Beetle is Now


RAPID CITY, SD – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) reminds ponderosa pine owners to protect their trees from mountain pine beetles now.


As summer begins, so does the bark beetle life cycle.  Bark beetles are insects native to the Black Hills region.  In late summer, beetles lay eggs under the bark of trees.  After the eggs hatch in the spring, the larvae will feed, grow and emerge from the dead trees the following year.


Treatments to protect trees from mountain pine and pine engraver beetles must be done now in order to prevent tree attacks.


To protect healthy trees, two spray options are available. Applications of carbaryl or permethrin (specifically labeled for bark beetles) should be applied before July.  Bark must be sprayed until drenched from the base of the trunk up to 35 feet or to where the tree narrows to 5 inches in diameter.  


“Due to the use of pesticides and equipment requirements, we suggest that landowners hire a professional to treat their trees,” said Ray Sowers, State Forester.


SDDA does not recommend using verbenone, a repellent for mountain pine beetle. Studies conducted in the Black Hills have shown that verbenone is not effective in repelling mountain pine beetles from ponderosa pines.  Mountain pine beetle repellents are sold under several names, but they all contain verbenone.


People with questions can contact SDDA’s Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry office in Rapid City at 394-2395 or 1-800-275-4954.


Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 143,000 South Dakotans.  The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.  Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or follow us on Facebook.


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