SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Forest officials in the Black Hills are warning landowners about the pine engraver beetle.
On Wednesday, the state sent out a news release saying the forest pests are taking advantage of downed trees from a May tornado near Custer. The pine engraver beetle, also known as the slash beetle, looks for freshly cut branches, but they will attack live trees.
The pine engraver beetle is not like the mountain pine beetle, which plagued the Black Hills for nearly 20 years. The mountain pine beetle infestation has slowed, staying below epidemic levels since 2018.
State officials are asking landowners to cut limbs and branches from downed trees into short lengths of three feet and scatter them so the wood dries out before adult beetles emerge. Removing the bark will destroy the beetles; slabbing does not kill the beetles.
Many uprooted trees are covered with the fine reddish-brown boring dust created by the beetles as they burrow into the stems and branches. Adult beetles will lay eggs and when the eggs hatch, the larvae feed and grow inside the wood before emerging as adults later in the month.
Learn more about the pine engraver beetle in a news release.