Online Originals: Beetle infestations in Eastern North Carolina

Online Originals

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) – Beetle infestations are effecting pines in Eastern North Carolina. County Rangers say this is due to Hurricane Florence.

“Since then we are starting to see the effects of all that. Areas that were flooded real bad, had a lot of rainfall, a lot of saturation, a lot of water, water standing contaminated water, salt intrusions, salt spray.” Brent Toler, Carteret County Ranger 

With no time in between wet and dry periods, trees did not have time to adapt, allowing a species called the Ips beetle to infest.

Three species of the Ips beetles have caused the loss of 6.6 million board feet and 1.1 million cords of pine timber in the south.

It starts with a male beetle creating a pathway for a female. After the beetles mate the larvae bring in a fungus that clogs the vascular flow of nutrients in the tree. This process kills the tree indefinitely.

Signs of infestations are yellow or reddening of needles, saw dust at the base of the tree and small holes in the bark.

If you observe any conditions associated with these infestations, contact your local County Ranger.

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