South Jersey begins protection of Pinelands against beetles

    Work begins in South Jersey today to protect the Pinelands against the southern pine beetles, which have affected about 6 percent of the pine forests in Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean and Cumberland counties.

    Beginning with Wharton State Forest in Hammonton, officials will cut down some of the infected trees and leave them on the ground to confuse the beetles, the Associated Press reports. The beetles bore into the trees’ barks and lay eggs, which cuts off the trees’ supply of water and nutrients.

    Some of the dead trees will remain standing for checkered beetles and woodpeckers, which prey on the pine beetles.

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