We have known the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) has been expanding its range, moving east from BC and into Alberta. In October 2018 it was found in one location in Lac Ste. Anne County, as well as in the counties of Parkland, Wetaskiwin, and Leduc. This destructive pest is already established in Yellowhead and Woodlands counties. Early detection and control by residents play an important role in managing Alberta’s MPB infestation and preventing further spread. We are asking landowners to check their mature pine trees for symptoms of a beetle attack. Trees in native stands, shelterbelts, planted woodlots, and individual landscape trees are all possible hosts.
Mountain pine beetles in your backyard?
Mountain pine beetles in your backyard? The mountain pine beetle is a small, black beetle about the size of a grain of rice. The beetles spend most of their life under the bark.
What type of trees may be attacked?
MPBs attack and kill pine trees, usually mature ones aged 80 to 120 years old. All species of pine including lodgepole, jack, Scots, and ponderosa pine are vulnerable. They do not attack aspen, spruce or fir trees. Pine can be distinguished from other trees by their long needles attached to branches in groups of 2-5.
When do beetles attack trees and how long do they stay?
Beetles fly in search of new trees in July and August. Once a beetle has found a suitable tree, it will live in that tree for the remainder of its life and lay eggs. The new generation of beetles will not emerge from the tree for at least one year. If my tree is attacked, will it die? Unfortunately, yes. Trees successfully attacked by MPBs usually die within one year.
How can I tell if my trees have been attacked?
Most noticeable are pitch tubes on the tree trunk, these creamy globs look like crystallised honey. Also look for sawdust at the base of the tree and in bark crevices. Use the reference material links below for more information.
What do I do if my tree is infested?