The Canada Pine Beetle

The Canada Pine Beetle

For some time now, the extremely destructive Pine Beetle ( Dendroctonus ponderosae ) is ravaging huge areas of Canada’s forestlands and its destruction is so virulent, that it is leaving massive and easily visible scars across otherwise green foliage landscapes. In numerous areas where the pine beetle is active, various solutions for its eradication have been tried and some of these in themselves, are so toxic in nature that they would normally be classed as being a larger risk than the beetle they are attempting to destroy.

These beetles have an average life span of about one year and generally, their eggs are laid through the bark of a tree where they develop into larvae that stay under the bark all through the winter months. During the spring the larvae continue to feed under the bark and then they will change into pupae during the months of June and July. During the rest of the summer and into fall, the new adult pine beetles leave the infested tree through emergence holes they create and after drying themselves in the warm sunshine, they take off to mate and commence a new cycle by laying the next generation’s eggs under the bark of new trees. 

During the time they remain under the bark of a tree, they are known to transmit a fungus type substance that stains the sapwood of the tree a blue colour. Other than discoloration, this blue colouring appears to have no adverse affects on the actual structural integrity of the tree. However, we must not forget that the damage has already been done and like a rolling snowball, it gather momentum and range of spread with each summer that comes. These beetles prefer mature trees such as lodge pole pines which are considered mature after eighty years of growth and in the Province of British Columbia, current statistics show that there are three times more mature lodge pole pines than they had over ninety years ago. Hot and dry summers make the trees more stressed and thus more susceptible to attack and infestation by this ravenous little creature. Trees which have been attacked will turn red roughly one year after the infestation and then, between one and two years later the affected trees will turn grey and all of their needles will fall off.

Another interesting fact about these little guys is they do not like it too cold! Their eggs, larvae and pupae are very susceptible to very cold temperatures and if these temperatures remain below minus 35 Celsius for a prolonged period of maybe a week, then this will kill off the eggs, larvae, pupae and generally sizeable portions of the beetle population in that area of cold weather. This being said, unless we suddenly enter the start of a new ice age all across Canada, these sporadic cold spells are unfortunately not enough to rid us of this continually spreading plague of destruction.   Yes, there are action plans prepared and in place and yes, the Canadian Ministry of Forests and Range are really trying to get to grips with finding a solution to this costly problem but to date, the efforts and methodology being used has had little or no effect on the overall problem.

The good news is that an answer to this massive problem does exist and better still, it is an answer, which consists of no chemicals, no toxins, no poisons and no danger to either the forest or to the people who would apply the solution. This answer can be found right now in the form of a golden all natural organic fluid formulated around a cedar oil base. This fluid can totally eradicate the pine beetle and a few other nasty insects at the same time. It is not cheap but then again it is not as expensive as some of the other treatment that have been tried. It is non hazardous and will not harm the environment in any way and it is here and available right now. Unfortunately, for now it appears that here it must stay as the Ministry of Forests and Range are continuing their quest with what they feel they know best. Maybe someday, hopefully soon, they will realize that we can defeat this natural pest by using a totally natural substance.

Bob Littlejohn MBA BSc


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