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Chemical Control Of SPB Spots

The only chemical or insecticide currently registered for the southern pine beetle is Dursban.  The chemical is sprayed on the surface of the tree at weekly intervals to deter the attack of pine beetle.  The chemical does not penetrate the bark of the tree.  Thus, it must be reapplied frequently, usually weekly and after rainfall events because the insecticide is washed from the surface of the tree.  The entire tree, crown and bole, must be sprayed with the chemical which can be an expensive proposition especially considering the frequency of application.  Once the beetle is inside the bark of the tree, the Dursban coating is ineffective in controlling beetle activity.  Consult professionals and follow label instructions before applying insecticides.  Because of expense and logistics of spraying large pine trees, Dursban is only recommended for high-value trees as a preventive treatment.

Some chemical salesmen are suggesting that tree injection will control southern pine beetle activity.  First and foremost is that the chemical suggested for injection is not registered for control of the southern pine beetle.  Second, research has not shown whether tree injection for control of the beetle is effective or not.  Most injections will put the chemical in the xylem of the tree where the chemical is spread by water transport.  However, the beetle and its larvae develop in the inner-bark of the tree where the chemical does not reside.  Tree injected chemicals for control of the southern pine beetle are not recommended at this time.

Precautionary Statement

In order to protect people and the environment, herbicides and pesticides should be used safely. This is everyone's responsibility, especially the user. Read and follow label directions carefully before you buy, mix, apply, store, or dispose of a pesticide. According to laws regulating pesticides, they must be used only as directed by the label. Persons who do not obey the law will be subject to penalties.

Disclaimer Statement

Pesticides recommended in this publication were registered for the prescribed uses when printed. Pesticide registrations are continuously being reviewed. Should registration of a recommended pesticide be cancelled, the University of Tennessee would no longer recommend it.

Use of trade or brand names in this publication is for clarity and information; it does not imply approval of the product to the exclusion of others, which may be of similar, suitable composition, nor does it guarantee or warrant the standard of the product.


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