Thread: Warding off Pine beetles

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  1. #1

    Warding off Pine beetles

    I love my pine trees, but the rampant infestation of pine beetles up here has me worried. I'm far enough away from any other pines to have them migrate in, but I do collect dead fall for firewood that they could be living in.

    I was thinking about a Blue Spruce and Austrian Pine windbreak. When I mentioned it to a friend, he suggested that I mix a few cedar trees into it, claiming that they would help repel pine beetle. I know cedar wood is good for keeping bugs out of what's stored in/with it, but can living cedars really help protect others around them?

  2. #2
    Sapling
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    michigan zone 5
    Posts
    68

    RE: Warding off Pine beetles

    I can think of three different ways to control/confuse pests--1] The Petri-Dish Method; Attracting males with Phermone traps [I've seen a few web-sites explaining the phermone bags attached to pines] or releasing sterile females.-- 2] Confusing the pest by not planting a mono-culture which also causes the pest to spend more time looking for host plants leaving it more vulnerable to predators. --3] Increase predator populations..If woodpeckers are a good control then supply snag trees/nesting sites so their populations stay high...Same thing with Warblers who normally feed their young a steady diet of insects, Warblers generally nest in certain aged conifers as in the case of the Kirtland Warbler [Great Lakes] or native shrubs that produce berries for birds that are omnivores. I'd try for a native species of fir..Perhaps Douglas instead of the Austrian Pine which won't do anything for predator populations. A few brushpiles probably wouldn't be a bad idea to encourage benifical bugs which at the very least would patrol the dead wood brought onto the property. Many inects may not consume the adult beetle but eat the larvae stage so any pesticide use would more likely kill the good and the bad. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to install a pond and perhaps using waterfowl as a weapon and attracting not only waterfowl but also bats. Setting up housing for Purple Martins near the pond isn't a bad idea either.

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