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Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain pine beetles , This beetle is found in the eastern region of the united states NY, NJ, Connecticut.

Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain pine beetles are the most important insect pest of pine forests. Mountain pine beetles often kill large numbers of trees annually during outbreaks. Trees that are not growing vigorously due to old age, crowding, poor growing conditions, drought, fire or mechanical damage, root disease and other causes are most likely to be attacked.For a long-term remedy, thin susceptible stands. Leave well-spaced, healthy trees. For short-term controls, spray, cover, burn or peel attacked trees to kill the beetles. Preventive sprays can protect green, unattacked trees.

Mountain pine beetle , Dendroctonus ponderosae, is native to the forests of western North America. Periodic outbreaks of the insect, previously called the Black Hills beetle or Rocky Mountain pine beetle, can result in losses of millions of trees. Outbreaks develop irrespective of property lines, being equally evident in wilderness areas, mountain subdivisions and back yards. Even windbreak or landscape pines many miles from the mountains can succumb to beetles imported in infested firewood.

Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle

Life Cycle: Every August, mountain pine beetles leavedead trees in which they developed to seek new homes for the next generation in livinggreen pines.Once the female beetle has found a suitable tree as a new home, she releases pheromones that attract both males and other females to the same tree. The beetles enter the tree by boring into the bark, creating pitch tubes.

Boring dust will appear in bark crevices and on the ground. Coordinated attacks of several hundred beetles are common. Mating will occur under the bark, and each beetle couple will produce about 75 eggs. It takes seven to ten days for these eggs to hatch into larvae. The larvae tunnel away from the egg gallery, producing a characteristic pattern. The beetles spend the winter under the bark. This is when you are likely to see evidence of woodpeckers feeding on the trunk. The larvae continue to feed into spring and

Damage: Adult beetles introduce bluestain fungi, which disables the tree’s defenses and interrupts the fl ow of water. The combination of fungi and beetle feeding rapidly kills the tree. Ten to twelve months after a successful attack, infested tree foliage turns yellowish to reddish. Soon after, the beetles are ready to exit and search for a new home. Large numbers of dead trees create safety and fi re hazards. Popcorn-shaped masses of resin, called “pitch tubes,” on the trunk where beetle tunneling begins. Pitch tubes may be brown, pink or white.

Boring dust in bark crevices and on the ground immediately adjacent to the tree base.Evidence of woodpecker feeding on trunk. Patches of bark are removed and bark flakes lie on the ground or snow below tree.Foliage turning yellowish to reddish throughout the entire tree crown. This usually occurs eight to 10 months after a successful MPB attack.

Mountain Pine Beetle Damage

Mountain Pine Beetle damage

Control: Natural controls of mountain pine beetle include woodpeckers and insects such as clerid beetles that feed on adults and larvae under the bark. However, during outbreaks these natural controls often fail to prevent additional attacks.Extreme cold temperatures also can reduce Mountain pine beetles populations. For winter mortality to be a significant factor, a severe freezeis necessary while the insect is in its most vulnerable stage; i.e., in the fall before the larvae have metabolized glycerols, or in late spring when the insect is molting into the pupal stage.

For freezing temperatures to affect a large number oflarvae during the middle of winter, temperatures of at least 30 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) must be sustained for at least five days.Logs infested with MPB can be treated in various ways to kill developing beetles before they emerge as adults in summer.Misidentification of healthy trees: Under dry conditions, trees may not produce pitch tubes when infested, therefore ealthytrees are not as obvious. Time may need to be spent looking for sawdust around a tree’s circumference and at the base of the tree.

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