Growing number of active southern pine beetle spots in Homochitto National Forest could be precursor to major outbreak, warns Mississippi Forestry Commission

BROOKHAVEN, Mississippi , July 6, 2012 (press release) – Southwest MS has been very fortunate not to have had any massive outbreaks of Southern Pine Beetles (SPB) since 1996. However, it seems that SPB populations in Southwest MS are on the rise. The SPB is a borer beetle that attacks and kills living pine trees.

During late May and June, U.S. Forest Service foresters on the Homochitto National Forest in Southwest MS have been reporting a growing number of active SPB spots. During two surveys on the Homochitto National Forest, more than 250 active spots were found on and around the National Forest. This elevated activity may be a precursor to an upcoming major outbreak incident. Dr. John Riggins, Assistant Professor of Forest Entomology at MS State University, recently visited some of the spots on the Homochitto National Forest and found them to be very active. Some spots were also found to be rapidly expanding.

Landowners in Franklin, Amite, Wilkinson, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln and Copiah counties are urged to be diligent and conduct inspections of their lands to determine if SPB activity is present. The MS Forestry Commission (MFC) recently flew a detection flight on 7/3/2012 to help pinpoint active SPB activity on private lands and Board of Education lands. The latitude / longitude of the spots we logged, along with the section / township / range of the spot. This information is listed below to show the location of the known spots.

Maps of these spots, along with the plotted spots reported to us by the U.S. Forest Service, are available for inspection at the MFC offices in Liberty, Meadville (open 8am-12pm, Mon-Fri) and the Southwest District office in Brookhaven.

For more information about the Southern Pine Beetle, or this potential outbreak, please contact your local MFC Service Forester. You may also visit our website at

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