Westland

Mountain Pine Beetle

Description

This destructive insect targets lodgepole pine forests in the B.C. interior. It seems to prefer mature trees and its life cycle tends to have huge explosions in population at irregular intervals. Some believe these may be weather-related. The insect lays eggs under the bark where insecticides cannot reach them. The larvae feed on the inner bark, finally girdling the tree which, being unable to transport nutrients and water, dies. But long before that, the larvae have matured and flown to lay eggs in a new place. Tens of thousands of hectares of B.C. pine forest is now affected. Some of the biggest clearcuts in the province are to try and salvage beetle-killed trees.

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