Mountain Pine Beetle

The mountain pine beetle (dendroctonus pondersosae) is a native insect to the Black Hills that feed on and live in pine trees. The feeding of the beetle larvae underneath the bark in combination with a blue-stain fungus can eventually kill the tree, in healthy forest conditions the beetles exits in endemic populations.


Throughout recorded history of the Black Hills there has been periodic epidemic outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (MPB), when the forest becomes over-stocked with ponderosa pine trees. Some areas of the Black Hills are currently experiencing a mountain pine beetle outbreak of epidemic proportions, with some of the largest infestations occurring in the higher elevations of Pennington County.

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