Mo. department of agriculture warns against spread of pine shoot beetles

Jun 10, 2013

The pine beetle is a destructive, invasive species of that feeds on the shoots of pine trees.
The pine beetle is a destructive, invasive species of that feeds on the shoots of pine trees.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

  The Missouri Department of Agriculture has announced an expansion of a quarantine area on pine products to Adair and Clark counties. The quarantine prohibits the distribution of pine products as an attempt to reduce the spread of the Pine Shoot Beetles.  

Missouri Conservation entomologist Rob Lawrence says he is concerned about the species spreading to other areas.

“We know it has an impact on Christmas trees," Lawrence said. "But we don’t know what impact is going to have as it moves farther south and gets to the pine forests of southern Missouri."

To monitor the foreign pests, organizations such as the USDA have created surveys and set traps in susceptible areas. The bug originated in Europe and showed up in Michigan and Ohio about twenty years ago. Lawrence says people should always get lumber and firewood near the area of intended use.