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Southern Pine Beetle – Survey

2018 Spring Survey Results & Information

Overview: LDAF, Office of Forestry, conducts a spring season trapping survey for Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Dendroctonus frontalis every year. This year’s survey consisted of 36 trap locations across pine forested areas of the state. The survey was conducted over a 6-week period from late February to mid-April. Trap contents are collected and reviewed weekly. LDAF in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, examines the trap’s contents and records SPB captured. The Checkered Clerid beetle (Thanasimus dubius) are also counted and totaled. Because this species is a major predator of the SPB, the ratio between the two species can be a general indicator of the threat of SPB populations. LDAF conducts Forest Health flights on a regular basis throughout the year. SPB is considered the most destructive pest for southern pine species.

Map: SPB specimens were present in 12 out of 24 parishes sampled. Until the spring of 2018, SPB has not been captured, west of the Mississippi River, in Louisiana during the past 10 years. 7 parishes, west of the river, had SPB present during the 2018 spring survey. Twenty-three (23) SPB infestations (spots) were identified by aerial observation last September. The majority of these “spots” were located in East & West Feliciana parish, east of the Mississippi River.

Notification: Possible SPB infestations, identified during aerial observation flights, are recorded then checked on the ground for infestation verification, along with collecting other related data (# of trees effected, stages of attack, etc.) Landowners and/or consultants are notified of SPB infestation(s) by LDAF Foresters and provided treatment advice.

Conclusion: SPB activity has increased in recent years across the southeastern USA. For Louisiana, the recent increase in SPB captured indicates their presence, yet at a state-wide level still considered a “low” hazard rating. Even though rated “low”, landowners should remain vigilant and maintain a watchful eye on their pine stands for SPB attacks and infestation.

For further information, please visit:  Tree Farms System Website

LDAF would like to emphasize “good” forest health and management to combat this destructive pest. It is important to manage your timber based on silviculture…not markets. Proper thinning of pine stands will assist in maintaining a healthy and productive timber stand.

southern pine beetle survey