Bark Beetle Management and Ecology in Southern Pine Forests

Periodic outbreaks of bark beetles can cause annual losses of millions of dollars and pose serious challenges for forest managers, and the suppression of outbreaks is particularly difficult and expensive.

According to T. D. Schowalter, author of a new open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, preventative measures are most effective in minimizing losses to these beetles, and several factors should be considered in planning bark beetle management in southern pine forests.

First, managers should consider the fact that the effects of these beetles on ecosystem services are not necessarily destructive and, in some cases, may contribute to management objectives in multiple-use forests. Second, these beetles are controlled naturally by environmental factors that can be manipulated through management practices.