The Colorado State Forest Service says the pine sawfly, a native insect that defoliates ponderosa pines, has reached "epidemic" levels south of Denver.
The outbreak was detected a few weeks ago and is believed to have started near the border of El Paso and Elbert counties. Foresters say the infestation has now been found on the northeastern fringes of the Douglas County border.
Residents in the area can expect to see severe defoliation of pines that are affected and large numbers of sawfly larvae in and below the trees.
Meg Halford with the forest service's Franktown district says the latest outbreak is exceptional because of the large number of eggs deposited on pine needles by adult sawflies last fall. It's unclear what environmental factors might have accelerated the spike in the sawfly population.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.