2013-11-14

It’s a love trap, baby: Synthetic pheromone helps scientists provoke pine beetle mania

The mountain pine beetles destroying Canada’s boreal forests may be eradicated by luring them into deadly love traps.

Scientists at the University of Alberta are using pheromones as bait to capture the lovesick insects before they can ravage strands of lodgepole and jack pine.

“When the female releases a pheromone, hundreds of beetles congregate,” Nadir Erbilgin, an associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Forest Entomology, said. “It is a very effective tool for communicating.”