An Aerial Observer's Guide to Recognizing
and Reporting Southern Pine Beetle Spots
Southern Pine Beetle Handbook
United States Department of Agriculture, Combined Forest Pest Research and Development Program, Southern Pine Beetle Handbook, Agriculture Handbook No. 560 - Issued April 1980
Beetle Behavior in Summer
During summer, SPB broods develop rapidly. Within 4-6 weeks after a tree is attacked, the new brood of adult beetles emerges, even though tree foliage may still be green. Because of this delay in foliage fade, many spots may already be " inactive" (abandoned by SPB) before ground check crews can check them. Inactive spots do not require control.
Certain SPB spots, however, expand in summer as adult beetles emerge from brood trees and attack pines at the spot's edge. Continuous spot growth is most common when beetle populations are high. From the air, the expanding spot appears as a group of red- and yellow-crowned trees (fig. 1), and ground crews checking these spots often find beetles in adjacent green trees. Not all spots expand after detection, but those which do- unless controlled- may cause large timber losses.
Developed by the University of Georgia Bugwood Network in cooperation with USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection, USDA APHIS PPQ, Georgia Forestry Commission, Texas Forest Service
and the Pests and Diseases Image Library - Australia
Last updated August 2018
www.barkbeetles.org version 2.0