Mountain Pine Beetle/ Government of Canada

County of Wetaskiwin selling Verbenone pouches for the Mountain Pine Beetle

In the summer of 2018 the first Mountain Pine Beetle infestation was discovered in the County.

The County of Wetaskiwin is selling Verbenone pouches through the County’s Agricultural Service Board with a distribution date of June 14 for County residents and June 16 for non-residents.

In the summer of 2018 the first Mountain Pine Beetle infestation was discovered in the County of Wetaskiwin. County staff began scouting for the beetle in 2019 and confirmed 40 sites of infestation. In 2020, there were five additional sites identified, although, the attacks appeared to be from a previous year.

Forestry Officer for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Mike Undershultz, reported that there were very low reproduction numbers in the 2019/20 winter and therefore a small flight of beetles in 2020.

Alberta Ag and Forestry recommends that pine trees with over 40 pitch tubes be removed by chipping, peeling, or burning on site.

Verbenone is a synthetic anti-aggregation pheromone that gives the beetles a “no vacancy” message so that they continue on their flight.

These Verbenone pouches are attached to the north side of the tree approximately six to eight feet from the ground and cover 12 to 15 square meters. The pouches should be hung around July 1 in order to be effective for the mid July flight.

In 2019 the County sold 500 pouches and in 2020 they sold 1,500 pouches.

County of Wetaskiwin staff are available to help with the identification of the Mountain Pine Beetle in order for control measures to be put in place. Early detection and control by residents play an important roll in managing the beetle infestation and preventing further spread.

The County will be accepting pre-paid orders for Verbenone pouches until May 19, 2021. To order a pouch you can contact Heather Dickau at 780-352-3321 or Stephen Majek at 780-361-6226.

If you suspect a Mountain Pine Beetle infestation on your property the County is asking that you contact their horticulturist, Heather Dickau.

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