Mountain pine beetle outlook “bad to worse” for Black Hills

Posted: July 7, 2013

Source: New Center 1

Beetle kill trees Black Hills SDThe Entomological Society of America is hosting its North Central Branch’s annual meeting in Rapid City this week. On Sunday, scientists from all around the world gathered to hear a presentation on the mountain pinebeetle.

South Dakota’s forests continue to be affected by this bug that feed on pine trees in the area. By teaching other regions about this problem, members are hoping that it will help everyone combat this epidemic.

“We do have people from all around the western states as well that have been dealing with the mountain pine beetle just as we have,” said John Ball, a professor of forestry at South Dakota State University. “In fact, in some cases a little bit longer. So this is also an opportunity for them to see how mountain pine beetles operate out in the hills, what we’re doing about it. They can learn from us and we can learn from them and hopefully have a few more techniques, tools you could say, to help treat this epidemic.”

Ball gave a presentation on how the mountain pine beetle has affected the Black Hills area. He also gave his predictions on what this summer will look like for the Black Hills. He plainly said it will be “bad to worse” than last year.

However, it will actually only be bad in specific areas of the Black Hills.

“It’s popping up in some areas, fading away a little bit more in others,” Ball said. “There’s people in the southern hills, won’t see as much of it and people in the northern hills are gonna see a lot more of it.”

This annual meeting runs through Wednesday this week. Different topics range from agricultural insect problems to controlling pests through the country.