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Forest Pests

There are a number of insect species of concern to the Mississippi Forestry Commission. These insects can cause major damage to tree stands and, if the infestation is severe enough, completely wipe out a stand. The Mississippi Forestry Commission assists Mississippi timber owners in forest pest management by conducting forest pest surveys and evaluations.

Insects Affecting Mississippi Forests

Southern Pine Beetle

The southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) is the most destructive forest insect in the South. Weakening of trees by flooding, windstorms, and especially drought commonly precede outbreaks.

Ips Engraver Beetle

Ips is a pine bark beetle that lives predominately in the inner bark, breeding and feeding on the tree’s vascular tissues. They usually colonize trees that are already stressed, declining, or fallen.

Redbay Ambrosia Beetle

The Redbay Ambrosia Beetle is the primary vector of the fungus that causes Laurel Wilt, a disease that can kill several North American tree species.

Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer is a metallic green beetle that bores into ash trees, feeding on tissues beneath the bark, ultimately killing the tree.

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

Most gardeners are first alerted to crape myrtle bark scale by the presence of black sooty mold on the bark of their crape myrtles.

Gypsy Moth

The gypsy moth, which came from France, is considered one of the most important pests of red and white oaks in the Northeast. It has spread southward into Virginia and is continuing to move south.

Sirex Woodwasp

Sirex woodwasps bore holes into trees, lay eggs, and larvae chew round hole exits.

Additional Resources

Home Landscape Insect Pests

There are also a number of insect pests that can damage trees and shrubs in your home landscape. Knowing how to manage and treat insects around the home can save money, and frustration.

Click here to download a copy of “Insect Pests of Ornamental Plants in the Home Landscape,” provided by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.