Pheromone pouches attached to trees in city parks

Residents may notice a strange-looking brown bubble pouch attached to a tree while walking through one of the city's parks.

They contain a pheromone, called MCH, that is helping to protect the tree from spruce beetles by tricking the bugs into thinking it's already occupied.

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City and provincial government staff have been out attaching the pouches to trees in Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park, Connaught Hill Park, Rainbow Park, Memorial Park Cemetery, and to the blue spruce trees found near Highways 16 and 97.

Typically, the pouches must be attached to trees by the end of April to be effective, but this year's long winter allowed the period to be extended into May. Beetles are expected to begin leaving their host tree and to start trying to infest new trees within the next week.

Spruce beetles have infested more than 350,000 hectares of forest in North Central B.C., according to the provincial government. The infestation, which dates back to 2014, has come as a result of the insects surviving the mild winter temperatures.

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