"Mountain pine beetle infestations continue to kill entire hillsides of lodgepole pine. Three other tree species also suffer from this intrusive insect Ė ponderosa, limber, and bristlecone pine trees. The epidemicís core area exists in the Arapaho, White River, and Medicine Bow-Routt, National Forests and adjacent forested lands.

Triggered by drought and a shorter frost season, mountain pine beetle populations grew across a landscape of mature, dense, homogenous lodgepole pine trees. The long-term drought weakened tree resistance. Numerous warm winters also helped beetles survive and multiply. The vast tracts of mature lodgepole pine forests are more prone to beetle kill than more vigorous younger forests."  (from USDA Forest Service)

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Mountain Pine Beetle Fast Facts

Itís estimated that over the next 10 years, an average of 100,000 trees will fall daily as a result of the bark beetle epidemic.

The mountain pine beetle is about the size of a pencil eraser.

Thousands of beetles can attack one tree.

Beetles carry the spores of a blue stain fungus in their mouths. As the bugs eat the tree, the fungus spread through the sapwood, interrupting the flow of water. The combination of   eating and the fungus lead to the death of the tree and leave the blue stain seen in beetle-killed trees.

Birds, especially woodpeckers, feed on bark beetles, as do insect parasites and fungal diseases.

Humans can spread bark beetles in transporting firewood. To avoid this, select dead and dry firewood from forests where collection is allowed. At home, burn firewood.
Thanks to Teton West Lumber Inc. for their charter support
Mountain Pine Beetle Information Archive
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