We have had an influx of southern Pine Beetles here in Florida lately. This story appeared in the news last night. I copied this from WESH Channel 2's site this morning.
Thursday May 24 07:22 AM EDT
Beetle-Infested Trees To Be Removed
State environmental officials will cut down pine trees infested with southern pine beetles starting Thursday, in an area north of Orlando to prevent spread of the destructive bugs.
Trees in Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs Run State Reserve and Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park near Apopka will be cut. Southern pine beetles have infested the area recently, and some other parts of Florida and the South.
The pests have destroyed about half the pines in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina and have also infested pine stands in Alabama. In Florida, officials in Alachua County declared a state of emergency last month, saying nearly 100 areas were infested with the beetles.
The insects are found in neighborhoods with large numbers of loblolly pines. They chew into the trees to lay their eggs. As those eggs hatch, the larvae chew their way along in the trunk, killing the tree.