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A War Against Pine Beetles

February 14, 2010 — The lack of a cold winter in B.C has not only affected the Vancouver games, it's allowing pine beetles to survive AND thrive.

In October 2009, B.C.'s forests minister announced that the mountain pine beetle epidemic was over. After destroying most of the province's pine forests, the insects ran out of food.

But just as scientists predicted, the epidemic is far from done.

In Kelowna, 1200 infested ponderosa pines will be removed from city parks. This decision is to help stop the spread of the insects that have already destroyed most of B.C. forests. This work is expected to continue right through until the end of March.

Researchers are looking at the beetles genetic blue prints to find clues on how to control them. The ravenous insects already have an internal antifreeze that protects them from the cold, but they haven't had to worry about that this winter because of the milder temperatures across the province.

The lack of a cold winter is helping the beetles to survive AND thrive.

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