Mountain pine beetles are small (3-4mm [3/16” +/-] long), cylindrical insects that attack and kill mature trees by boring through the bark and mining the phloem – the layer between the bark and wood of a tree. These insects inhabit Pine forests throughout British Columbia. Like forest fires, bark beetles play an important role in the natural life cycle of a forest.
British Columbia is currently experiencing a mountain pine beetle epidemic throughout the range of lodgepole pine forests in the province. This epidemic is the result of a number of factors including natural beetle population cycles, continuous mild winters, and an abundance of uniformly mature pine forests.