FORT COLLINS, Colo. – In recent years, record-warm temperatures and record-low precipitation in southwest Colorado have led to a resurgence of the piñon Ips bark beetle.
This insect (Ips confusus) is specialized to attack piñon pines. It kills more mature piñon trees than any other pest in the southwest part of the state. While the piñon Ips beetle serves an ecological role to recycle and thin stands of piñon trees that are weakened, broken, fallen or dying, this native beetle has been able to build up populations and cause widespread mortality of piñon trees stressed by recent drought.
To help combat the problem, the Colorado State Forest Service has published a new quick guide to help land managers and landowners manage their piñon-juniper forests for the piñon Ips beetle.
The guide offers treatment and prevention tips, advice on handling infested wood, signs and symptoms of an infested piñon tree, an overview of the beetle’s life cycle and more.
Coloradans who own piñon pines are encouraged to review the guide as a helpful resource for managing their forests. According to the guide, “Homeowners and landowners can play a crucial role in minimizing the spread of piñon Ips by following the tips offered in this Quick Guide. Concentrated outbreaks can be addressed with a few simple actions that help keep populations of this insect in check.”
To get the guide, contact your local CSFS field office, or download a digital copy of the guide from the Publications section of the CSFS website at csfs.colostate.edu/csfspublications.