PIERRE - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is reminding citizens that the deadline to kill mountain pine beetles through the cut and chunk method is March 1.

State forest health specialist Brian Garbisch says after March 1, there is no longer enough time for the tissue under the bark to dry out and degrade. That means the beetles will mature and fly to other trees.

Cutting and peeling, cutting and wrapping, or cutting and chipping infested trees will be effective until May 1. The Department of Agriculture says that f hauling to a saw mill is an option, landowners should try to have that done by June 1.

State crews will soon be finished marking more than 87,000 trees on private lands throughout the Black Hills.

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