Freezing Cold Not Enough to Kill Pine Beetles

By: Kyle Markley Email
By: Kyle Markley Email

Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - While Cheyenne was waking up to frigid temperatures this morning, unfortunately so were mountain pine beetles in Laramie County and across the state.

You may be wondering when temperatures dip below freezing, does it kill off some of the pine beetle investing the state?

According to Les Koch with the Wyoming State Forestry Division, he says it would take a lot longer than a few freezing nights to have any affect.

"You need consistent temperatures, roughly in the range of 20, maybe even 40 degrees below zero. Consistent blocks up to three, maybe even four weeks or maybe even a little bit longer to kill bark beetles because you have to remember they're under the bark and it acts like a blanket and they also are able to chemically synthesize their body water and their body fat into glycoproteins which essentially act as a coolant like antifreeze in a vehicle," said Koch.

Koch said that in the last five years they are seeing populations of mountain pine beetles decrease in Laramie County and across most of Wyoming.

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