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Insect forest pests

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Since the time of SOPFIM’s founding, the primary mission of the organization has been limited to conducting aerial spray programs against the insect pests responsible for defoliating forest environments. While there are many forest insect pests to be contend with, the government of Quebec has opted to leverage SOPFIM’s expertise to protect forests from those defoliating species recognized as causing major socioeconomic impacts over extensive forested areas. In consideration of known historical patterns and of the potential scale of epidemics, the main insects that continue to be a focus of action are the spruce budworm, the eastern hemlock looper, the Swaine jack pine sawfly and the jack pine budworm.

Spruce budworm (SBW)

Viewed as constituting the greatest threat in relation to conifer forests, the spruce budworm has been the subject of numerous publications.

Insects harmful to forest trees. (Martineau 1984)
Spruce budworm: integrated management approach to outbreaks (MNR et SOPFIM 1999)
Impact study Part 1 : Spruce budworm. (SOPFIM 1992)

Eastern hemlock looper (EHL)

Recognized as an insect causing extensive damage in fir stands, particularly those in coastal or island environments, the hemlock looper appears suddenly in virulent epidemics that last approximately two to three years.

Insects harmful to forest trees (Martineau 1984)
Hemlock looper. (MRN)
Impact study Part 2 : Eastern hemlock looper. (SOPFIM 1992)

Swaine jack pine sawfly (SJPS)

A major defoliating insect associated with jack pine, the Swaine jack pine sawfly primarily attacks mature forests. Infestations of this insect have, for the moment, been limited by the discontinuous distribution of vulnerable forests. However, when plantations established in the last 40 years eventually reach maturity, this insect could also attain epidemic levels that would require conducting aerial interventions – assuming there is an organic pesticide available for use at that time.

Insects harmful to forest trees (Martineau 1984)
Impact study Part 2 : Swaine jack pine sawfly. (SOPFIM 1992)

Jack pine budworm (JPB)

A close relative of the spruce budworm, the jack pine budworm has appeared primarily in Ontario, owing to the extensive stands of pine to be found in that province. In Quebec, only a few, small-scale infestations have been observed, owing to the discontinuity of forests consisting of this insect’s preferred species. In the future, however, epidemics could occur as the result of the considerable surfaces that have been reforested in jack pine.

Insects harmful to forest trees (Martineau 1984)
Impact study Part 2 : Jack pine budworm. (SOPFIM 1992)