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’s pine forests.

Learn about some of the research happening to understand, prevent, and stop the spread of the mountain pine beetle in Western Canada

What to Look For                                                              

    Mountain Pine Beetle Larvae   Pine beetle and larvae   Pine beetle and larvae

    Pine Beetle Pitch tube        Pit Hole for Mountain Pine Beetle         Adult Mountain Pine Beetle

           Pitch Tube                                             Pitch tube                                                 Adult

Prevention

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.

Treatment

  • 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 to help 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.

Verbenone

Verbenone 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.

Sevin

Sevin 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. Read some FAQs that tell more about the product Sevin

Related Links

Mountain Pine Beetle NRC

Mountain Pine Beetle Fact Sheet

Mountain Pine Beetle