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Southern Pine Beetle outbreak discovered in Wakulla and Franklin Counties

southern pine beetle
Posted at 3:47 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 13:56:22-04

TALLAHASSEE, FLa. (WTXL) — An outbreak of Southern Pine Beetles have been found within Wakulla and Franklin Counties.

After conducting its annual aerial survey flight during peak season to detect the beetles' activity, the Florida Forest Service identified 21 active outbreaks in Wakulla County and 14 in Franklin County this year.

The Southern Pine Beetle is reportedly the biggest threat to Florida forest land due to their ability to infest both urban and rural areas, killing yard trees as well. Additional risks include widespread forest death, degraded wildlife habitat and increased catastrophic wildfire threats.

Due to outbreaks spreading over 50 feet a day and cutting down buffer areas being the only route of preventing further beetle infestation, forest management practices such as competition control, thinning and prescribed burning can reportedly decrease the likelihood of southern pine beetle infestations.

For more information on the Southern Pine Beetle, contact your local County Forester at FDACS.gov/CountyForester.

For more information about the Southern Pine Beetle infestation activity in Wakulla and Franklin Counties, contact Emily Martin at (850) 597-6572 or email Emily.Martin@FDACS.gov.