Posted: Jun 21, 2012 8:11 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Jun 21, 2012 8:11 AM
STEVENSVILLE- If you're camping in the Bitterroot National Forest this summer and see small packets attached to trees, foresters are asking you leave them alone to help fight the infestation of mountain pine beetles.
The patches contain verbenone, which is one of the tools foresters are using to stop the spread of the beetles in important locations like campgrounds in the Bitterroot.
Verbenone contains pheromones that signal to the adult beetles that trees are already infested, giving them no place to land.
Another tool, the insecticide Carbaryl ,can be sprayed in most areas, it can't be applied near streams, so the patches are tacked to individual trees in those areas.
"What we're trying to do is make sure that we're protecting these beautiful pine trees in these very popular campgrounds," said Tod McKay, Bitterroot National Forest spokesman. "This is why people come to the national forest, to the Bitterroot. It's trees that are many, many hundreds of years old that are absolutely beautiful. We need to do what we can to protect them."
Workers place the patches far up on the trees to increase the chances they'll stay in place as the beetles begin to fly in July.