- Associated Press - Thursday, May 29, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Forestry Commission says it has received numerous reports about pine trees dying in northwest Alabama, and the culprit appears to be the larvae of the loblolly pine sawfly.

The commission says infestations have been reported in Colbert, Marion, Franklin, Lamar and Fayette counties. The commission is conducting aerial surveys and will notify landowners where problems are detected.

The commission says the larvae of the loblolly pine sawfly are about 1.25 inches long and have a dull green body with heavy black stripes along each side and lighter stripes below them. The larvae attack in the spring. The commission says the use of insecticides is cost-prohibitive for large stands of trees, but insecticides can be used in residential or commercial areas where aesthetics are an issue.

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