Forest experts say this is the season for homeowners to consider spraying their infested trees because the pine beetles are on a much-needed Christmas break. They say the winter is the only time homeowners can safely thin trees, cut and chunk them without having to worry about sparking a wildfire.
Instead of waiting for the state or federal government to take action, Custer homeowner Cherish Baker bought a sprayer so she could keep up with the beetle flight on her property.
“We have so many,” said Baker. “Obviously it is costly for homeowners to spray every tree but you know we are just doing what we can.”
Baker says she only paid $300 out-of-pocket to cut and remove 40 trees because South Dakota paid the other half.
Forestry experts say the best time for landowners to spray infested trees against the Mountain Pine Beetle is the first of April through the end of June.