Mountain Pine Beetle
The mountain pine beetle is a member of the bark beetle family and is the most damaging insect pest of pine trees in western North America. Left unmanaged, the Mountain Pine Beetle could devastate Alberta pine forests.
What To Look For
- Please take the time to inspect your pine trees. Look for these signs and symptoms:
- Likely the easiest sign indicating the presence of Mountain Pine Beetle is boring sawdust found in bark crevices and around the base of the tree.
- Secondly, look for pitch tubes (small nodules of sap that look like crystallized honey on the bark).
- Peel back the bark and look for live larvae. If you do find live larvae under the bark, your healthy trees are at risk.
- From the air, you'll notice patches of completely red-brown or yellow-green pine trees.
- Remove infested trees immediately. Drop them off at one of the disposal sites provided by the County.
- Keep your green trees as healthy as possible; water is key since a drought stressed tree is less capable of resisting a beetle attack.
The following prevention information contains links to information about sprays and treatments that have been used in other provinces in an attempt to control the spread of Mountain Pine Beetle.
The County of Grande Prairie No.1. provides this information as a resource only, and is in no way endorsing their use. Persons can use these chemicals on their private lands as per instruction, at their own risk and cost. These are potent chemicals that do have inherent health risks for all humans, in particular children.
- There is a product on the market, called Verbenone, that has been used in spot applications to try and stop beetles from attacking valued trees. Verbenone pouches can be attached to specific high value trees chosen to be protected; however, they are not a guarantee that pine beetles will not infest the tree. Verbenone is available at local garden centres. The product is a repellent or anti-aggregation pheromone. Application of repellent pheromones must be completed before the beetles emerge to look for new host trees. For the best results, a fresh pouch should be placed on the tree part way through the year.
- There is a product called Sevin, that has been used to kill attacking beetles. The product is sprayed on the tree bark, which soaks into the bark and when the beetles chew through the bark, they die. The trees must be sprayed a couple of times per year, and reapplied after it rains. Below is a link to some questions that tell more about the product Sevin. http://www.gardentech.com/Learn/FAQs
Regardless of what you do, there is no guarantee you can save your trees. It depends upon the intensity and duration of the beetle flight in July and August.
To find out more about the health effects and chemicals permitted for use in Canada we recommend you visit Health Canada's Pest Management Regulation Agency.
The County provides free disposal sites for private landowners to drop off their infested trees.
Clairmont Recycling & Waste Management Centre - Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
Gravel Pit located along Resources Road - on Resources Road 4.5 km south of TWP710. Seven days a week.
The County of Grande Prairie has not received any funding to do control work on private land. That means that residents are responsible to remove infested trees on their land.
For information on what the County is doing to manage Mountain Pine Beetle infestations on public lands view our Mountain Pine Beetle Program.