Bark beetles reproduce and live most of their lives under the bark of trees. They are integral components in forest ecosystems by promoting decay of older, mature or injured trees. Bark Beetles and the symbiotic blue stain fungi they carry are a major causal agent of tree mortality and continue be serious pests. Episodic outbreaks of bark beetles are attributed to poor forest practices, drought conditions, and mild winters. Much research has gone into managing Mountain Pine beetle, Douglas–fir beetle, Spruce beetle, Southern Pine beetle and other bark beetles using semiochemicals.
Synergy’s new Multitrap system has many options for trapping bark beetles.
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Research results have produced a variety of bark beetle management tools for monitoring, trapping and protection. All of these techniques avoid the use of traditional harmful pesticides or herbicides. Furthermore they provide “green” technologies as pest management tools in forests, riparian zones, parks, woodlots, nurseries, and urban forests.
Synergy semiochemicals provides successful strategies for monitoring bark beetle populations:
- trapping to determining flight periodicity
- tree baits to slow the spread and contain infestations prior to logging
- direct tree protection using anti-aggregation semiochemicals such as Synergy Shield Verbenone and MCH
- potential for mass trapping when paired with anti-aggregation semiochemicals in a “push-pull strategy” (read more on tab below).
It’s important to understand the distinction between attracting beetles to your trees with a trap and lure vs. repelling beetles from your trees using semiochemicals.
- Trapping is done when monitoring to see if a particular type of beetle is present in an area.
- Trapping is also done when wanting to concentrate a beetle attack to a certain targeted zone of trees or slash piles which will then be harvested, removed or burned.
- Semiochemical lures used in traps are often very powerful and will usually overpower any repellents. The result is that many beetles will be attracted to targeted trees.
- Traps will have a spillover effect. The beetles will be attracted to the trap but any tree within a 50 yard/meters radius can also get attacked because of the semiochemical plume that is released from the trap lure.
- Trapping can work well on margins of a clear cut. It reduces beetles that normally end up in stumps or slash piles that will then emerge the following season.
- Trapping can reduce a beetle population to help in the following years.
- Repelling beetles is like hanging a “no vacancy” sign on the tree. The beetles are tricked to believing that the tree is not suitable for living in. The beetles keep flying until they die.
Tree baits should only be used with an integrated pest management strategy. They contain semiochemicals to attract beetles directly to a tree. As a result, they are designed to initiate an early attack. Tree baits differ from funnel trap lures because they do not contain any kairomones from the host tree. They are stapled to the tree and usually placed 50 meters / 165 feet apart from each other.
The field life of a tree bait is about 60-90 days but the biology of an attack is more important in determining efficacy of the bait. Tree baits are used as an initial beetle attractant to a tree. Once tree baits have caused a successful attack to the target tree, nature takes over. The beetles begin exuding aggregation pheromones while the injured tree releases attracting kairomones that further entice more beetles to land on it. At that point, the tree baits have served their purpose and are no longer needed. The attacked trees are subsequently removed from the area by harvesting before the next season.
For further detailed instructions, please read our technical bulletin here.