Cold snap not enough to disrupt pine beetle threat

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
The pine beetle population would begin to decrease if the temperature in the state dipped down to minus 30 or lower.

Beetle killed pine trees

DENVER (AP) -- Experts say Colorado's plunge into a deep freeze is too little and too late to disrupt the population of the destructive pine beetle.

Dave Leatherman, a retired Colorado State Forest Service entomologist, tells The Denver Post that long periods of extreme cold can cut down the pine beetle population, but the pests have already burrowed themselves deep into the trees to protect themselves.

Plus, he says, the beetles have changed their chemical physiology to increase the percentage of glycols in their systems. Glycols are a main component in antifreeze.

Temperatures would have to drop to minus 30 or lower and stay there for at least five to seven days to affect pine beetle populations between December and February.


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