Pine Beetle - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can I do to prevent attack on my trees?
Can I use pesticides? Who will spray my trees?
Can I wrap my trees with screen to prevent attack?
See this link for suggestions for pine beetle prevention, including pesticides, fibreglass screen and verbenone (repellents).
2. I think I have some beetle attacked trees, how can I be sure?
What does pine beetle attack look like?
Check our on-line fact sheets for information and photos to help identify attack. If you are still unsure, phone the Beetle Hotline at 469-8457. Our Urban Forest Health Technician can set up a time to help inspect your property. However, we do not have the resources to inspect every tree on larger properties.
3. Does pine beetle attack other types of trees?
At this time, Kelowna is experiencing an outbreak of western pine beetle (WPB) and mountain pine beetle (MPB). WPB only attacks Ponderosa pines. MPB will attack most species of pines, including ponderosa, lodgepole, white and Scotch pines. Occasionally, spruce trees are attacked, although they are not a preferred host.
4. Can I keep infested wood for firewood etc.?
No – unless you debark it and destroy the bark (burn it or bury it thoroughly). Beetles can survive in cut trees or in the bark. Covering your firewood pile with plastic is NOT a reliable method to prevent beetle emergence.
5. I think my neighbour has beetle infested trees. What can I do?
Is there a bylaw which requires people to control an infestation on their property?
At this time there is no bylaw requiring infested trees to be removed. However, removing a single infested tree can prevent the loss of more trees in your neighbourhood. Direct your neighbour to the city website or to some of the brochures available from the Urban Forestry division which outline the options that are available. It may also help if a large group of neighbours get together to exchange information and resources, and to encourage other residents who may be less inclined to participate.
6. I have some infested trees on my property, what should I do?
See this link for a description of beetle management options.
7. Who can I call to remove my trees?
For residential properties, check the yellow pages under “Tree Services” for a list of local arborists. We also suggest that you consult the publication “How to Hire an Arborist”. For larger forested properties, you may need to hire a logger. See this link for a list of local logging contractors. You may need a Timbermark for removal of logs (see #10 below).
8. Can I sell the logs from my property to offset the cost of removal?
Unfortunately ponderosa pine is not considered to be a valuable species in our area. If you have a large property, check with some of the logging contractors listed on our site. They may be able to find a sawmill willing to pay some compensation for the logs. Keep in mind that if you are removing any logs from a property you will require a Timbermark (see #10 below).
9. What is a Timbermark, and how can I get one?
In order to transport logs off private property, the Province requires a Timbermark (available at no charge), which may be obtained by filling out a one-page application from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations - Forest Tenures.
10. How far can pine beetles fly?
They can fly (or be blown) quite some distance, but they usually seem to stay quite close to the area where they emerged if there are suitable trees nearby for attack.
11. How cold does it need to get to kill pine beetles over the winter?
Beetles produce an anti-freeze that helps them to survive the winter. Mountain pine beetle mortality requires temperatures of minus 40 for several days. However, an unexpected cold snap in October/November or in March/April may kill beetles even if temperatures are not as extreme. Unfortunately, provincial experts feel that the beetle population is now so high that we will continue to experience outbreak conditions, even if we do experience a significant cold snap (which is unlikely).