Researchers turn up the noise to battle bark beetles

Is artificial bark beetle noise a silver bullet?

Except at great expense and on a small scale, insecticides, logging or pheromone traps haven’t touched this beetle epidemic that extends from the Yukon to New Mexico.  Here is some thinking outside the box that might work. Of course, it too might only work over small areas.

Researchers turn up the noise to battle bark beetles. By Judith Kohler. Associated Press

Related. Gov. Brian Schweitzer: Pine beetle problem is here to stay. AP





  1. Virginia Avatar

    This is a unique idea – however, most of the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming is dead/dying – 2.4 million acres. My question would be – how will this work in these huge areas? Also, the Shoshone has allocated $40mm to fight the pine bark beetle – are they going to be open to spending that on sound? Call me a skeptic.

  2. Nature rules Avatar
    Nature rules

    I saw this on our local AZ news last week. Problem is they have no idea how to implement it. If they figure that out great! How do they get the sound to the trees? Speakers will not work, and what effect does this have on other animals if they do it that way. Seems far fetched to me…

  3. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    There are some animals that will benefit from the die-off of large tracts of trees. I see many places when I travel that would support bighorn populations if the trees were gone. In Alberta, bighorns have moved into areas cleared of trees for coal mining and prospered.
    In many ways, thick stands of lodgepoles are more like suffocating weeds than great habitat for wildlife. We tend to look at the world with our primate eyes and brains and think that trees are always wonderful.

  4. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    There are two issues that come to mind; sound pressure level (SPL) and frequency. SPL is measured in decibles and at what level is it effective? At what level does the sound need to be to pierce the bark of the tree? What is the level that can be attained without injury to othe species? And for how long is this SPL level needed to achieve rresults?

    There are a lot of questions to be asked and answered to make this project successful. But I think it can be acheved. Large scale implementation could be difficult without injuring other spacies.


  5. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, do you recall back in the late 60’s when the forest service was hiring high school kids to spray a mixture of diesel fuel and pesticides on the log pole pine in the Island Park area? No respirators, no goggles and jersey gloves, spraying overhead. They sprayed for several summers didn’t even slow the beetles down.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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