PINE BARK BEETLE CONTROL
Do you or some of your friends own some western pine forest land? Are you facing beetle hits and dying trees on your property? Is the filth from government forest land rolling down on your land? If you follow the advice of your duly authorized forestry officers or the local pest control industry in your area, your options are not too good. In the fullness of time, all your trees will die, probably burn up in a large fire and you will not live long enough to see a new forest take their place. If you hire a duly licensed chemical pesticide applicator, you will have to pay over $10. every year to protect EACH TREE on your property. This will take a lot of Permethrin or Sevin or a lot of Verbenone patches, poisons that will spill over into the rest of your environment. Or, you can call me.
But, I have to warn you: I am not independently wealthy. Adrian’s Tree Service is not a non-profit institution. I am not benefitting from a government grant. It’s going to cost you some money to get me to come out to your place. It is going to be cash-and-carry. It is impossible to get my gear through airport security and fly out. I will have to drive the distance. This will amount to a week of on-the-road expenses before doing the first tree. Two thousand dollars and a week’s free room and board at Mystery Mountain were not sufficient to cover a trip to the Black Hills. When working tree pests under my license here in Louisiana, I normally charge between $500 – 2000 for a single day’s work, including materials. But, happily, it is not necessary for me to spray ALL of your trees to save them – only the “green hits”. And, if you cruised your property yourself, marked the green hits and tallied them – you’d save me a lot of time and expense doing so. The bigger the population of green hits, the lower the cost per tree will be.
Or, you can take delivery of a package of fungus culture plates and Steinernema worms from me for about $200, plus postage. You will need to be ready to apply the material almost immediately upon receipt because of its short shelf life. A package can do about 50 green hits. If you have your green hits previously marked and tallied, application time will be minimized and the job will go smoother. You will need to get hold of a sprayer that is capable of getting 30 feet up the trunks of trees and be portable through your woods. The best sprayer for the job is a Stihl (R) mist blower. Mixing in 2% safety oil + 2% molasses helps keep the pathogens from being degraded by wind and UV light.
We found longer-term protection of pine trees occurred when we sprayed understory plants that were infested with scale insets, box elder bugs of aphids. These insects are food for “our fungus”, increase the inoculum in your environment and keep it around longer to protect your pine trees.
Even if the beetles kill your pines, they will fail to emerge because the grubs will have been killed. With standard spray programs, these “hits” would have been lost anyway. But, you will not have to remove these trees quickly to disinfest the rest of your forest.
Bark beetles start hitting new trees in July and the flights run all the way until October in most regions of the west. The most effective time to be spraying green hits with biologicals are the months of August through October. So, if you have questions or just want to talk, I will listen. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org or my cell phone number is 504-259-2031. For more information, download “Stopping pine bark beetles with ‘Pork’n’Beans'” (PDF, 3pp, 860KB).