The mountain pine beetle has been devastating Montana forests in the last couple of years. The Bitterroot National Forest is planning to spray the insecticide Carbaryl in popular areas to protect trees from the tree-killing pest.
In the Lake Como and Bass Creek Recreation areas Carbaryl will be combined with Verbenone, a pheromone, which deceives the beetles with its smell that mimics the smell from the trees that have already been attacked. In other words, the beetle is told, "Nothing to see here. Move along."
The Forest crews will spray susceptible lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees with Carbaryl, which is 99-100% effective when applied correctly. A truck mounted sprayer will be used and spraying will not be done on rainy or windy days.
About 1,000 trees will be sprayed in the Lake Como area. All sites that are treated will be closed to the public for 1 to 2 days during the operation. For information on site closures, check with local Ranger Stations.