Pike County is among a few counties in Arkansas that state forestry officials have identified as at risk of an outbreak of beetles that could damage pine trees.
The Arkansas Forestry Commission says aerial surveys revealed 102 spots from the Ips beetle in Clark, Dallas, Hot Spring, Ouachita and Pike counties. The Ips beetle is a native bark beetle that can damage pine trees, particularly ones that are weakened by drought or disease.
Landowners are encouraged to check their property for any signs of infestation and check with county foresters for recommendations. In some cases, a clear-cut of infested trees may be needed.
The forestry commission says more Ips beetle damage could occur if drought conditions persist.