Forestry officials say the bugs have infested about 22 million acres of forest across the West.
Pete Anderson is a Nevada State Forester. He says the drought is making the infestation worse.
“A healthy tree with a good water supply has the ability to repel most of those bugs. But when we’re in a drought situation it’s an opportunity for a variety of things to attack a tree.”
Anderson says they’re watching about 2.5 million acres …at-risk-of-being overrun by beetles…for potential treatment. That would include spraying insecticide or removing trees.
Much of the land is near communities where dead or dying trees could pose extreme fire danger.