What Is Attacking My Pine? The Case of the Deodar Weevil
Many pine owners are able to identify the damage caused by southern pine beetles (Dendroctonus frontalis) (SPB) or Ips engraver beetles (Ips spp.). Most, however, have never heard of the deodar weevil (Pissodes nemorensis) unless they have experienced an outbreak on their property. Fortunately, this native insect leaves very distinctive signs and tree symptoms that landowners can use to survey their pine plantations for this pest.
Deodar weevils are native insects that attack a variety of conifers including all species of yellow pine—loblolly (Pinus taeda), longleaf (P. palustris), shortleaf (P. echinata), and slash (P. elliottii). In response to deodar and other insects, pines have developed natural defenses that effectively prevent attacks when trees are healthy and growing rapidly. During most years, deodars only attack a few suppressed, unhealthy trees that are scattered in wellmanaged plantations. As such, the deodar weevil is not an insect that regularly alters traditional pine management.
Pine owners should, however, be mindful of the risk deodars can pose under the right set of environmental conditions. Being able to differentiate deodar damage from that of other insect pests is important for stand management. Rapid identification of a deodar outbreak can help guide post-attack management treatments and reduce future damage. The goal of this publication is to help forest landowners identify deodar weevils and develop a plan to prevent or moderate deodar damage to pine plantations.
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