Elderberry Fights Flu Symptoms

Elderberry Fights Flu Symptoms

Jelly, Jam, or Wine Won’t Help — Only Extract Works

Dec. 22, 2003 — Sambucol, a black elderberry extract, appears to short-circuit flu symptoms, a new study shows.

This is more evidence that this herbal treatment for flu — if taken when flu-like symptoms first appear — could help people get through this year’s flu invasion a bit easier.

However, Andrew Weil, MD, director of the program in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona, is cautious. The findings on Sambucol are only preliminary, he says. He advises people to take prescription drugs if they get the flu, but notes that Sambucol may help.

«Sambucol is for treatment, not for prevention,» Weil tells WebMD. «It has an unknown mechanism of action. Research suggests it inactivates the flu virus, but we don’t know that for sure.»

The flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza are used for the treatment of the flu, if the symptoms have been present for no more than two days. They can also cut flu severity and shorten illness if taken soon after flu symptoms appear. Background on Black Elder

In folk medicine, flowers from the black elder bush have been used to ease flu symptoms, colds, and sinus problems. In recent years, researchers have begun formal studies of Sambucol — a formulation of elderberry extract — to better understand this herbal remedy.

A small study published five years ago showed that 93% of flu patients given Sambucol were completely symptom-free within two days; those taking a placebo recovered in about six days. However, the study took place during an outbreak of influenza B — so it was unclear whether Sambucol worked with type A virus.

This current study shows that, indeed, it works for type A flu, reports lead researcher Erling Thom, with the University of Oslo in Norway.

Thom’s findings were presented at the 15th Annual Conference on Antiviral Research in 2002. The study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of International Medical Research.

The study involved 60 patients who had been suffering with flu symptoms for 48 hours or less; 90% were infected with the A strain of the virus, 10% were infected with type B. Half the group took 15 milliliters of Sambucol or and the other group took a placebo four times a day for five days.


Patients in the Sambucol group had «pronounced improvements» in flu symptoms after three days: Nearly 90% of patients had complete cure within two to three days. Also, the Sambucol group had no drowsiness, the downside of many flu treatments.

The placebo group didn’t recover until at least day six; they also took more painkillers and nasal sprays.

It’s likely that antioxidants called flavonoids — which are contained in the extract — stimulate the immune system, writes Thom. Also, other compounds in elderberry, called anthocyanins, have an anti-inflammatory effect; this could explain the effect on aches, pains, and fever.

Elderberry extract could be an «efficient and safe treatment» for flu symptoms in otherwise healthy people and for those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, Thom adds.

Russell Greenfield, MD, a leading practitioner of integrative medicine and medical director of Carolinas Integrative Health, advocates treating flu with black elderberry, he says in a news release. «It can be given to children and adults, and with no known side effects or negative interactions,» he says.

«But don’t expect grandma’s elderberry jam» to ease flu symptoms like body aches, cough, and fever, he warns. «Sambucol is the only black elderberry preparation shown effective in clinical studies.»


Vital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004–2016

Weekly / May 4, 2018 / 67(17);496–501

On May 1, 2018, this report was posted online as an MMWR Early Release.

Ronald Rosenberg, ScD 1 ; Nicole P. Lindsey, MS 1 ; Marc Fischer, MD 1 ; Christopher J. Gregory, MD 1 ; Alison F. Hinckley, PhD 1 ; Paul S. Mead, MD 1 ; Gabriela Paz-Bailey, MD 1 ; Stephen H. Waterman, MD 1 ; Naomi A. Drexler, MPH 1 ; Gilbert J. Kersh, PhD 1 ; Holley Hooks, MPH 1 ; Susanna K. Partridge, MPH 1 ; Susanna N. Visser, DrPH 1 ; Charles B. Beard, PhD 1 ; Lyle R. Petersen, MD 1 (View author affiliations)

Key Points

•A total of 642,602 cases of 16 diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites transmitted through the bites of mosquitoes, ticks, or fleas were reported to CDC during 2004–2016. Indications are that cases were substantially underreported.

•Tickborne diseases more than doubled in 13 years and were 77% of all vectorborne disease reports. Lyme disease accounted for 82% of all tickborne cases, but spotted fever rickettsioses, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis cases also increased.

•Tickborne disease cases predominated in the eastern continental United States and areas along the Pacific coast. Mosquitoborne dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses were almost exclusively transmitted in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where they were periodically epidemic. West Nile virus, also occasionally epidemic, was widely distributed in the continental United States, where it is the major mosquitoborne disease.

•During 2004–2016, nine vectorborne human diseases were reported for the first time from the United States and U.S. territories. The discovery or introduction of novel vectorborne agents will be a continuing threat.

•Vectorborne diseases have been difficult to prevent and control. A Food and Drug Administration–-approved vaccine is available only for yellow fever virus. Many of the vectorborne diseases, including Lyme disease and West Nile virus, have animal reservoirs. Insecticide resistance is widespread and increasing.

•Preventing and responding to vectorborne disease outbreaks are high priorities for CDC and will require additional capacity at state and local levels for tracking, diagnosing, and reporting cases; controlling vectors; and preventing transmission.

•Additional information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/.



Introduction: Vectorborne diseases are major causes of death and illness worldwide. In the United States, the most common vectorborne pathogens are transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes, including those causing Lyme disease; Rocky Mountain spotted fever; and West Nile, dengue, and Zika virus diseases. This report examines trends in occurrence of nationally reportable vectorborne diseases during 2004–2016.

Methods: Data reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System for 16 notifiable vectorborne diseases during 2004–2016 were analyzed; findings were tabulated by disease, vector type, location, and year.

Results: A total 642,602 cases were reported. The number of annual reports of tickborne bacterial and protozoan diseases more than doubled during this period, from >22,000 in 2004 to >48,000 in 2016. Lyme disease accounted for 82% of all tickborne disease reports during 2004–2016. The occurrence of mosquitoborne diseases was marked by virus epidemics. Transmission in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa accounted for most reports of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus diseases; West Nile virus was endemic, and periodically epidemic, in the continental United States.

Conclusions and Implications for Public Health Practice: Vectorborne diseases are a large and growing public health problem in the United States, characterized by geographic specificity and frequent pathogen emergence and introduction. Differences in distribution and transmission dynamics of tickborne and mosquitoborne diseases are often rooted in biologic differences of the vectors. To effectively reduce transmission and respond to outbreaks will require major national improvement of surveillance, diagnostics, reporting, and vector control, as well as new tools, including vaccines.


Vectors are blood-feeding insects and ticks capable of transmitting pathogens between hosts. Wide varieties of pathogens have evolved to exploit vector transmission, including some viruses, bacteria, rickettsia, protozoa, and helminths. Dengue viruses are estimated to infect nearly 400 million persons worldwide each year (1), and malaria (2) is a major cause of pediatric mortality in equatorial Africa. Plague (3) and rickettsioses (4) cause deadly epidemics abroad. In the United States, 16 vectorborne diseases are reportable to state and territorial health departments, which are encouraged to report them to the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS). Among the diseases on the list that are caused by indigenous pathogens are Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi); West Nile, dengue and Zika virus diseases; plague (Yersinia pestis); and spotted fever rickettsioses (e.g., Rickettsia rickettsii). Malaria and yellow fever are no longer transmitted in the United States but have the potential to be reintroduced. As a group, vectorborne diseases in the United States are notable for their wide distribution and resistance to control. A Food and Drug Administration–approved vaccine is available to prevent only one of the notifiable diseases, yellow fever.

Despite the dissimilarities among vectorborne pathogens and the many vector species that can transmit them, commonalities exist. Vectorborne disease epidemiology is complex because of environmental influences on the biology and behavior of the vectors. The longevity, distribution, biting habits, and propagation of vectors, which ultimately affect the intensity of transmission, depend on environmental factors such as rainfall, temperature, and shelter. Most vectorborne pathogens are zoonoses, often with wild animal reservoirs, such as rodents or birds, making them difficult or impossible to eliminate. Arthropod vectors can bridge the gap between animals and humans that would not ordinarily intersect, as happens in Lyme disease, plague, and West Nile virus (WNV), facilitating the introduction of emerging animal pathogens to humans.

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The pace of emergence of new or obscure vectorborne pathogens through introduction or belated recognition appears to be increasing. Since 2004, these have included two previously unknown, life-threatening tickborne RNA viruses, Heartland (5) and Bourbon (6), both reported from the U.S. Midwest. A tickborne relapsing fever agent, Borrelia miyamotoi, first described in Japan, has been found widely distributed in the United States (7) and another bacterial spirochete, Borrelia mayonii (8) was discovered in the upper U.S. Midwest. Two tickborne spotted fever Rickettsiae, R. parkeri (9) and Rickettsia species 364D (10), and a tickborne Ehrlichia (E. muris eauclairensis) (11) were discovered to be pathogenic to humans. The mosquitoborne viruses chikungunya and Zika were introduced to Puerto Rico in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Zika virus is emblematic of the dangers of emergence. Zika was one of a number of obscure, mosquitoborne viruses known to be pathogenic to humans that are rarely encountered or studied (12). In the 60 years following its discovery in a monkey in Uganda, it was seldom reported as a human pathogen. In 2016, there were >36,000 cases reported in Puerto Rico, limited autochthonous, or local, transmission in Florida and Texas, and nearly 5,000 cases among travelers to the United States (13). The teratogenic consequences of the 2015–2017 epidemic in the region of the Americas were unexpected.

CDC examined trends of reported vectorborne disease cases in the United States during 2004–2016; this report discusses the challenges of prevention and control and highlights opportunities for vectorborne disease preparedness at the state and local level.


Vectorborne disease data from NNDSS were retrieved from 2004, the first year that both neuroinvasive and nonneuroinvasive arthropodborne viral (arboviral) diseases were nationally notifiable, through 2016, the most recent year for which complete data are available (https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nndss/conditions/notifiable). Data were tabulated by disease, vector type (i.e., mosquito, tick, or flea), state or territory of residence, and year. State health departments report human disease cases using standard surveillance case definitions that include clinical and laboratory criteria. For some diseases, data reported according to Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists definitions as confirmed or probable have been combined; autochthonous and travel-associated cases have been analyzed together by state or territory in which they were found.

Chikungunya virus, Zika virus, and Babesia cases became notifiable after 2004; only those data in NNDSS are presented. Although dengue became nationally notifiable only in 2010, earlier national data were available from CDC’s Dengue Branch and are included in this analysis.


Nearly 650,000 cases of vectorborne disease were reported during 2004–2016 ( Table). Tickborne diseases, which accounted for >75% of reports, occur throughout the continental United States, but predominate in the eastern part of the country and in areas along the Pacific Coast ( Figure 1). Reported cases of tickborne disease have doubled in the 13-year analysis period, with Lyme disease accounting for 82% of cumulative reported tickborne disease. The combined incidence of reported anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, which are tickborne bacterial diseases, rose almost every year, as did spotted fever; babesiosis, a tickborne parasitic infection that has been notifiable since 2011, also contributed to the rise. Endemic plague, a fleaborne disease that is transmitted mostly in the rural southwestern United States, did not exceed 17 cases in a year. Tularemia and ehrlichiosis are geographically widespread but more prevalent in the central United States.

By contrast, the occurrence of mosquitoborne viruses was dispersed ( Figure 2) and punctuated by epidemics (Table) ( Figure 3). WNV was the most commonly transmitted mosquitoborne disease in the continental United States. Its most notable epidemic during 2004–2016 occurred in 2012, especially in Texas. Epidemics of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses were mostly confined to the U.S. territories. All four dengue viruses were endemic in Puerto Rico, which was subject to cyclical epidemics, notably in 2010 and during 2012–2013. Puerto Rico’s first chikungunya virus epidemic peaked in 2014, followed by Zika virus in 2016. Travelers infected in the territories and Latin America accounted for >90% of the dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus disease cases identified in the states and District of Columbia; limited autochthonous transmission of dengue occurred in Florida, Hawaii, and Texas, and of chikungunya and Zika viruses in Texas and Florida. Malaria is diagnosed in approximately 1,500 travelers yearly but no autochthonous transmission was documented during 2004–2016.

Conclusions and Comments

These data indicate persistent, locality-specific risks and a rising threat from emerging vectorborne diseases, which have increasingly encumbered local and state health departments tasked with preventing, detecting, reporting, and controlling them. The overall case number masks two distinct trends. Epidemics characterize the mosquitoborne viruses. WNV transmission is effectively limited to the continental United States, whereas most dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus transmission occurred in the territories. By contrast, the increasing reports of tickborne disease, which occurs almost exclusively in the continental United States, has been gradual. The area at risk for Lyme disease has been expanding (14). Although Lyme disease accounts for 82% of all reported tickborne diseases, spotted fevers, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis have become increasingly prevalent. Diseases caused by pathogens that were relatively uncommon during the 13-year analysis period remain important because of their historical potential to cause epidemics (e.g., St. Louis encephalitis virus), their high case fatality rates (e.g., eastern equine encephalitis virus), or their potential as bioterror agents (e.g., plague and tularemia).

The reported data substantially underestimate disease occurrence. NNDSS relies on a person seeking care, a clinician requesting appropriate tests, and providers or laboratories reporting to public health authorities. Recent data from clinical and laboratory diagnoses estimate that Lyme disease infects approximately 300,000 Americans yearly, eight- to tenfold more than the number reported (15,16). Many arbovirus infections result in minimal symptoms. It has been estimated that 30–70 nonneuroinvasive arboviral disease cases occur for every WNV neuroinvasive disease case reported (17). Based on the number of neuroinvasive disease cases reported in 2016, between 39,300 and 91,700 nonneuroinvasive disease cases of WNV would have been expected to occur, but only 840 (1%–2%) were reported (17).

The dynamics of vectorborne pathogen transmission are significantly influenced by the characteristics of vector, reservoir, and host. Tickborne pathogens rarely cause sudden epidemics because humans are typically incidental hosts who do not transmit further, and tick mobility is mostly limited to that of its animal hosts. For ticks, the prolonged life cycle and widely separated blood feeds limit opportunities for pathogen transmission. Ixodes scapularis, for example, an important vector of B. burgdorferi, might feed on blood once in a year, but this is compensated for by their broad host preferences and the ability of single ticks to transmit multiple pathogen species. In contrast, the more mobile female mosquitoes feed on blood every 48–72 hours. Dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses are typically transmitted directly between humans by the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, after about a week’s extrinsic incubation period, resulting in explosive epidemics. WNV is one of the few purely zoonotic vectorborne pathogens with epidemic potential; humans are only at risk from mosquitoes that have fed on viremic birds. There must be a coincidence of flocks with a high prevalence of infection near humans when vector mosquito species are abundant. Bird movement was responsible for WNV’s rapid spread across the United States after its introduction to New York City in 1999.

The presence of competent vector species does not alone assure transmission. Ae. aegypti, whose range has been expanding, might now be present in up to 38 states (18), but despite the frequent arrival of travelers infected with dengue, chikungunya, or Zika viruses, autochthonous transmission has been rare. No local transmission of malaria resulted from the importation of about 1,500 cases annually, even though Anopheles mosquitoes are present in much of the United States. Although the range of Ixodes scapularis extends over much of the eastern United States, transmission of Lyme disease, B. microti babesiosis, and Powassan virus are rare outside of the Northeast and upper Midwest regions. Whatever the biologic, economic, behavioral, or land use reasons for these differences, the presence of vectors with proven or possible capacity to transmit a wide range of pathogens leaves the United States susceptible to outbreaks of exotic vectorborne diseases, as demonstrated by the limited local transmission of dengue and Zika viruses in Florida and Texas.

The findings in this report are subject to at least three limitations. First, underreporting might have substantially limited the number of cases analyzed. As noted, the number of Lyme disease cases reported to NNDSS is estimated to represent a fraction of incident cases. In addition, because many patients with dengue, nonneuroinvasive West Nile, and Zika virus infections experience mild symptoms, they might not seek medical attention. Second, not all the diseases described in this report were reportable for the full 13-year analysis period or from all states and territories; babesiosis data are only available from 2011 from some states. Finally, although CDC collected national dengue data before 2011, the first year it was officially designated as notifiable, it is possible a higher proportion of cases were reported after reporting became mandatory. Overall, it is likely the actual number of vectorborne disease cases substantially exceeds those described in this report.

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In the face of increasing incidence and threat from novel pathogens, the burden on local and state public health departments has increased. Critical to effectively preventing or responding to disease outbreaks is sensitive disease and vector surveillance, backed by well-organized, well-prepared, and sustained vector control operations. Good surveillance and reporting depend on rapid, accurate diagnostic confirmation; more sensitive and specific tests that can be used locally are needed. Vaccines against Lyme disease, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika, goals of intense research and development, could reduce risk from those major threats. The tools for vector control are limited but can be effective when implemented rapidly. Ticks have been especially difficult to control (19), increasing the responsibility for personal protective measures. Nearly all public vector control operations in the United States are locally funded and operated. Networks of vector control operatives are essential to support threat reduction and counter outbreaks, yet in a recent national survey 84% of 1,083 local mosquito control organizations reported lacking one or more of five core vector control competencies (20). Resources available to assist state and local health departments could be used to develop vector control program competencies.

Reducing vectorborne disease incidence and responding to outbreaks is a large and complex challenge. CDC is using two strategies to mitigate vectorborne threats: advancing innovation and discovery and rebuilding comprehensive vector control programs that have eroded over time (20). CDC works with states, territories, and tribal councils to compile surveillance data, develop strategies and guidance, and educate the public about specific threats and prevention measures for populations at risk. Expanding sustainable vectorborne disease prevention programs is needed to respond to the ongoing and increasing threat of vectorborne disease.


Ian Dunn, Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program, CDC; Elizabeth Gray, Kathrine Tan, Barbara Marston, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, CDC; Aidsa Rivera, Amy Lockwood, Maryanne Ingratta, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, CDC.



Pine Bark Beetles are small reddish to dark brown beetles about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch long. They are able to fly, reside in trees and can be found at many altitudes around the world. Though they prefer live trees, they can and will feed on freshly cut stands when available.

Pine bark beetles are the single most destructive pest which attacks pine trees. They are quick to reproduce, migrate and eat so once active on any one tree in a stand, it is important to start dealing with them immediately to minimize casualties. There are other species which will feed on a variety of hardwood trees but these tend to be slower at both reproducing and causing damage. Softwoods, like pine trees, tend to get damaged quicker and are able to provide harborage to more insects then hard woods over the same period of time.


Pine bark beetles are attracted to pine trees by smelling the trees sap. Though most trees will emit small amounts of sap naturally, trees which sustain injury due to man or nature are more likely to get beetle activity. Pruning at inappropriate times (like the summer), mechanical damage by construction crews cutting protective tree bark, lightning, drought, disease or insect damage like that which can occur from termites can all make a tree more susceptible to pine bark beetles. Once a flow of sap is more than normal, the odds that beetles will find the tree are increased.


A normal healthy tree will emit or release some sap that can attract beetles. When a tree is injured and sap runs freely and the odds that beetles find the tree are greatly increased. Once found, beetles will penetrate the bark and then begin excavating tunnels between the bark and the wood of the tree. These tunnels will serve as egg cavities. Eggs will be laid and when the larva hatch they will immediately begin to feed on the live part of the tree called the phloem and xylem. This feeding will lead them on a random journey which typically moves around the tree weakening it’s bark to the point of it falling off. Trees which have been severely damaged will shed their bark and appear naked; galleries and tunnels will be visible leaving a sure sign of what caused the damage.


Once the larva get their fill, they will undergo a metamorphosis during which time they change to adults. This third stage is called the pupa and when ready, they will hatch and emerge from the tree. Their emergence will leave a bunch of new holes through which the attractive scent of sap along with their natural pheromones will attract even more beetles. For this reason it is always wise to treat any tree which you suspect may have a small amount of activity.

In general, most healthy trees can withstand a beetle or two but if left alone, this initial activity will multiply to hundreds of beetles as new ones are attracted to exit holes.

At this point the survival of the tree will be jeopardy. More important are the adult beetles which emerge. Remember, they’re looking for new trees on which to land and start laying eggs. And though they typically target the most “active” trees, it only a matter of time before the infestation spreads.


In general, spraying pine trees you’d like protect once a year would be wise. This is especially true if you reside in region with known activity.

Once beetles are on your land and feeding on your trees, the scenario will change from “preventive” to “saving”.

So lets say you identify activity in the spring. Then you need to treat all the surrounding trees you want to prevent from getting activity and then decide if you want to attempt to “save” the trees with activity. The other rule to follow is that pine borers will be most active in the spring, summer and fall.

In the spring, activity will increase with migrations happening as beetles seek mates. In the summer, maturing beetles hatching from pupae will be on the move looking for a new tree to infest and this will occur through fall. At some point trees will be too “cold” for beetles to leave. But if you get late season treatments in place, the cold of winter will protect the tree for 3-6 months. This way even if it warms in your region, the treatment will continue to work so nothing new will forage to these protected trees.

So in summary, a treatment in spring and fall is always good and considered to be the “minimal” frequency of treatments done. But if you only identify a problem in the summer and treat then, it may carry you to next spring but treating in the fall wouldn’t be a bad idea if the problem is bad.

Unfortunately saving trees with extensive activity may be near to impossible. That’s not to say you shouldn’t tree. But letting the beetles have one “untreated” tree or removing the infested tree is not a bad idea. Just remember that remaining trees will quickly become targets if left unprotected.

At that point you’ll need to make some decisions regarding how much “preventive” treating you want to do. The good news is spraying the bark once a year before you have activity can really help. Combine this with a use a systemic and you can help most any tree from predatory pests.


If you are in a region where pine bark beetles are active or if you have had some bad experience with them in the past, consider treating and protecting any tree you value. Such treatments should done at least once a year; once in the spring and once in the fall would be ideal.

By spraying the bark you can help to establish a protective barrier through which beetles cannot enter. Furthermore, MAXXTHOR EC is highly repellent to most any insect so they will definitely leave treated trees alone. Treatments to the bark will last 1-2 months and even trace amounts of the active will be detected helping to keep the tree insect free.

Mix it at the rate of 1 oz per gallon of water and expect to get up to 500 sq/ft of surface area protected per gallon of mixed spray. That means you should be able to get 2-4 average pine trees protected per gallon of mixed solution.

For preventive treatments, focus on the bottom 10 feet of trunk. Any standard PUMP SPRAYER can be used to do the treatment. In general, you want to spray high first so that the material will run down the bark allowing you to maximize the area treated without spraying the same area over and over.

If you know you have beetles already active on the tree, add SPREADER STICKER to the tank mix. This product makes the mixture “spread” over treated surfaces enabling the Maxxthor to get better coverage. In the long run you will be impacting much more of the tree when spreader sticker is included. It not only helps to cover the tree better but it allows the Maxxthor to work that much faster. Beetles are naturally well protected from insecticides since they have thick shells. Spreader sticker helps get the insecticide “into” them much quicker.

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Add 1 oz of Spreader Sticker per gallon of water along with the 1 oz of Maxxthor when treating live beetle infestations.


For trees with current activity, spray as high as possible. Pump sprayers will generally reach 10-15 feet which may not be enough. But if you have a garden hose with high water pressure, use a HOSE END SPRAYER to deliver the Maxxthor and Spreader Sticker.

Another high reaching sprayer is the TROMBONE SPRAYER. Its completely portable too. All you need is a 5 gallon pail with a mixed solution and you can bring it afield to treat remote trees too far away from a garden hose.


Another option for treating light problems and the cracks and crevices of the bark is to inject some FS MP AEROSOL. It comes with a straw which can be inserted into small holes so that you can treat “into” the tree. The pressure of the can along with the aerosol sized particles which are released insures a thorough treatment. FS MP uses an oil base solvent system enabling it to both penetrate an last long compared to traditional water based products.

Simply insert the thin straw, hold the can on for 5-10 seconds and you’re done. Any beetles in the hole will be dead and the FS MP will provide long lasting residual so new beetles can’t use the same hole again.


When a tree has been found with a lot of activity, you probably won’t be able to save it. The original thinking of handling such trees has been to remove the infested tree and then to burn it along with all the infesting beetles. However, this is not always so easy to do. One thing is for sure: If you have a tree infested with Pine Bark Beetles and there are other trees close by, you need to treat the other trees ASAP. This preventive application should be done with the Maxxthor and careful inspections of these same trees should be done monthly as well until the infested tree can be removed or taken down.

There are other considerations regarding the infested tree. First, does it pose a threat to a home or wildlife should it unexpectedly fall? Trees that have been weakened by beetle damage will eventually crash to earth. Be sure the tree you have identified does not pose a direct hazard to nearby residents.

Second, can the tree which is infested be removed? If the answer is yes, you should consider treating if before the removal. Remember, the act of taking down the tree will stir up adults causing them to leave. This exodus will undoubtedly allow several of them to find a new home elsewhere basically infesting another tree. Avoid this problem by treating the tree being removed with FS MP or Maxxthor along with a thorough treatment of any trees you want to protect.

Third, once removed, where will the dead tree be taken? Trees which have been treated prior to being taken down may have less active adults and larva but many will be active and thriving. As a general rule you don’t want to leave a fallen tree laying around which is infested with pine bark beetles. They will quickly start to leave and nearby trees will become immediate targets.

For this reason its important to have the tree taken away, mulched or burned immediately upon being cut. There have been too many cases of trees which look to be OK which turn out to have hundreds and thousands of adults leave it once cut down. These migrating adults are then able to relocate and start their infestations all over again.

Make sure you don’t let this happen by disposing of the tree completely. Burning works well and mulching the burned remains is okay. But the last thing you want to do is keep the logs laying around intended to become firewood for next winter. This would be a big mistake. Since adults and larva will start leaving this now dead and dehydrating lumber, you should never keep and store infested wood around the home. Get rid of it any way you can.


Something else to consider is the use of a good systemic. These are products you water into the ground around the trunk of the tree. Once injected, these products will be absorbed up into the tree and kill pests which attempt to feed on the treated tree. The best product for this is PROTHOR. It can be sprayed on the tree too but it’s real strong point is when used as a systemic.

Though it will take a few weeks to make it’s way throughout the tree, annual treatments with Prothor can protect trees from most any insect infestation and help cure current problems. Remember, there is a huge range of insect pests which will target trees. And though one species may not be enough to kill it, a combined infestation can easily make a tree weak and cause it to succumb to the disease. For this reason protecting any tree you treasure with Prothor makes sense.

Use Prothor at the rate of 1 oz per 10″ trunk diameter. Mix it in 5 gallons of water and drench inside the tree’s drip line to insure good root absorption. Prothor only needs to be applied once a year and can really help “preserve” your trees overall good health.

To best apply the Prothor, use a 5 gallon bucket with 3-4 gallons of water. Add the needed Prothor to the bucket and then poke 8-12 holes at least 1/2″ wide in the ground around the trunk of the tree. These holes should be inside the “drip line” of the tree but not closer than 2 feet to the trunk. A SOIL AUGER can help create holes; use it with a hand drill. Make the holes at least 6-10″ deep so the liquid solution will filter down the hole and ultimately reach the roots of the tree.


To help stress trees, adding equal amounts of JOY JUICE LIQUID FERTILIZER to your bucket of Prothor is recommended. Soil drenching is like using an “IV” in a tree and why not add some good food to the treatment? This formulation is stable and won’t shock the tree but does include nitrogen immediately available for absorption. Trees in stress will quickly suck it up and this little boost will help by healing and promoting new growth.


Pine bark beetles can be a problem for homeowners and land owners all around the world. They strike quietly and their damage will quickly kill infected trees. If you are in a region where activity is high, inspect your trees every couple of months to try and identify if any get activity. Pine bark beetle control can be achieved if you treat with Maxxthor once or twice a year to help safeguard against infestations. Once active, you will need to first protect the trees surrounding the one with activity and then make some decisions regarding the infested tree which could include using a systemic like Prothor. For added support, add some liquid fertilizer.

If you decide to try and save it, be sure to do thorough applications behind the bark with FS MP to kill off current activity. If the tree has to be removed, be sure to destroy all the wood properly so the present beetle population is not able to survive and relocate. Following these guidelines will help keep your trees both healthy and happy so they can continue to be an active part of your landscape.


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