A Field Guide for Ground Checking Southern Pine Beetle Spots
Southern Pine Beetle Handbook
United States Department of Agriculture
Combined Forest Pest Research and Development Program - Agriculture Handbook No. 558 - Issued November 1979
The Buffer Strip
No matter which means of control is used, success hinges upon treating all stage 1 trees. The best insurance is to cut a buffer strip of uninfested pines around the active head of a spreading spot. This tactic interrupts the beetles' flow of attractants and stops their advance. The buffer strip also provides a margin of error, just in case attacked pines were initially overlooked or the spot has expanded since then.
A buffer strip 10-40 feet wide is enough for medium and low priority spots and for high priority spots with fewer than 30 trees. But a buffer strip 40-100 feet wide is needed for large high priority spots (fig. 18). As a rule of thumb, the number of trees in the buffer strip should not be more than the combined number of stage 1 and stage 2 pines in the spot being treated.
The buffer strip should enclose all stage 1 and stage 2 trees and be widest in the direction that the spot is expanding. If control is planned within 2 weeks after the ground check, mark the buffer at the strip at the time of the first ground check. If controls are not planned this soon, wait until just before the control date to mark the buffer strip or carefully recheck its boundaries before treatment. Otherwise, the spot may enlarge beyond the buffer zone before the control starts.
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