On Aug 28, 2007, daryl from vernon, BC (Zone 6a) wrote:
The mountain pine beetle can be found in B.C. and Alberta 12 western American states and even Mexico.The effects of this insect are devastating in the Province of British Columbia,over 9.2 million hectares are now in the red attack stage (as seen in photo).Attacking the mature lodge pole pine tree (considered mature after 80 years).The economic implications will impact over 30 communities and directly affect the livelihoods of over 25,000 families in British Columbia.
The life span of an individual mountain pine beetle is one year.Pine beetle larvae spend the winter under the bark.They continue to feed in the spring and transform into pupae in June and July.Adult mountain pine beetles emerge from the infested tree over the course of the summer and the early fall.
The mountain pine beetle transmits a fungus that stains a tree's sapwood blue.
Cold weather kills the mountain pine beetle.Mountain pine beetle eggs,pupae and young larvae are most susceptible to freezing temperatures.In the winter ,temperatures consistently below -35 to - 40 Celsius for several days are necessary to kill large portions of the insect .Unfortunately in B.C. since 1993 we have not had sustained cold temperatures to have an affect on the beetle.The spread of the infestation is impossible to predict.In recent years hot and dry summers have left the pine drought -stressed and even more susceptible to attack from the mountain pine beetle.
Large areas of the interior of British Columbia are being heavily logged and clear cut to hasten the spread of this heinous insect,and a massive replanting effort is underway.