Spruce beetles begin to take flight in Southcentral Alaska

Contact(s): Alicia King

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Forest Service

Chugach National Forest

161 East 1st Ave., Door 8
Anchorage, Alaska 99501


Twitter: @ChugachForestAK

Facebook: @ChugachNF

Contact: Alicia King (907) 231-0172 alicia.king@usda.gov

(ANCHORAGE, AK) - Spruce beetles are beginning to emerge in Southcentral Alaska and property owners should take steps to reduce further infestation of green spruce trees.

Adult spruce beetles typically emerge from their host trees each spring when temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Recent surveys by the Alaska Division of Forestry confirm that spruce beetles are on the move. Adult beetles seek out and attack new host trees during their summer flight period, which continues into July.

“Property owners are advised to keep an eye on their green spruce trees this summer for signs of beetle attacks and, if possible, to avoid cutting down live trees during the flight period,” Division of Forestry Forest Health Manager Jason Moan said. “Any green or actively infested trees removed during this time should be processed promptly and properly.”

“Cutting dead, dry, spruce trees which no longer contain active beetles is of little concern timewise, as these trees are no longer susceptible or attractive to spruce beetles,” Moan added.

Southcentral Alaska has been experiencing a spruce beetle outbreak since around 2016 that so far has affected more than 1.1 million acres of forestland in the region. Aerial surveys conducted jointly by the Alaska Division of Forestry and USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection in 2019 suggest the outbreak appears to be waning regionally, though many areas are still experiencing steady or increasing beetle activity.

For information on mitigating spruce beetle, signs and symptoms of spruce beetle attacks, upcoming public workshops, and more, visit www.alaskasprucebeetle.org.


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