Forester: Bark Beetles Getting Worse in Idaho

Monday, June 26, 2017

Bark beetle problems continue to worsen on Northern Idaho forest lands, a university forester says.

Drought stress from several years ago has led to the increased pressure now, said Chris Schnepf, University of Idaho Extension forester in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Western pine beetles, pine engraver beetles, fir engraver beetles and Douglas fir beetles all are more active this year, he said.

“All of these bark beetles are native insects, they’re always around at some endemic level,” he said. “But when you have stand conditions that favor them, they start to take off.”

Pine bark beetles are particularly bad on lands with too many trees per acre, Schnepf said.

“With many of these beetles, they may take out the most stressed trees first, but they don’t necessarily stop there,” he said.

Pine engraver beetles and Douglas fir beetles can breed in downed trees, which can make the situation worse.

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