2011-03-19

Province wages war against Mountain Pine Beetle

Ten years after the Mountain Pine Beetle first arrived in Alberta, the government continues to battle against the destructive bug.

The beetles burrow into the bark of pine trees, feeding off of them and laying their eggs. The trees respond to the attack by increasing their output of resin to kill the bugs, but the beetles have a blue staining fungi that blocks the resin. The fungi can kill the trees within a few weeks once established.

Long periods of cold can help kill the beetle, but the Alberta government is not relying on the weather to end the outbreak.