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Do it yourself preventative spraying

BEN GROVE
File photoA number of Summit County homeowners have been protecting their property from pine beetle infestation for two to three decades with good success.
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A number of Summit County homeowners have been protecting their property from pine beetle infestation for two to three decades with good success.

How? By spraying trees.

Application methods have included back-pack and hand-held sprayer units, attachments to a common garden hose, power washers and others. Most of these methods provide protection for the bottom 12- to 15-feet of the tree trunk, an area where beetles are usually found, but commercial sprayers are necessary to reach above that height in taller trees.

As concentrations of beetle population continue to increase, it becomes more and more important to protect the upper trunks of the taller trees.

However, in cases where smaller and shorter trees are present, do-it-yourself applications can be effective and much less expensive per tree. If commercial sprayers are not available as a first option for large trees, do-it-yourself protection is preferable to no protection at all.

Some homeowners use commercial sprayers for their largest trees and then the do-it-yourself approach for the remainder of their trees, thereby getting more of their trees protected for less money.

Several formulations of sprays are registered for use to prevent attacks on individual trees. Among them:

Carbaryl (Sevin XLR Plus, Sevin SL).

Permethrin (Astro, Dragnet)

Bifenthrin (Onyx)

These are the same products used by most commercial spraying services.

When these sprays are applied to healthy trees in the early summer (before July 1), they will deter and can kill attacking beetles.

Preventive spraying is effective through one mountain pine beetle flight, which is one year.

Be sure to read and follow the directions and cautions on the label of each product carefully before spraying your trees. A good protective mask is especially important.

Masks are available at most local paint and hardware stores. A wide range of back-pack and other type sprayer units are available. Many can be found on the Internet by searching under Portable Sprayer Units.


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