Population from Census 2015 - 68,556
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The poplar borer (Saperda calcarata) is a common insect in natural forest stands around Grande Prairie. Adults are large (20-30mm) long-horned, light blue/gray beetles with orange markings. Larvae are legless, white, and 30mm long. The most visible sign is the damage they cause to poplar and aspen trees - boring large holes that then weep sap that stain the bark a dark brown. The larvae remain inside the trees feeding for two to five years before pupating and then emerging as adults to mate and lay eggs. High populations of this insect may significantly weaken or stress trees, particularly if they are already under drought stress. Unlike other long-horned beetles, which only attack stressed trees, the poplar borer frequently attacks healthy, vigorous trees.
Large bore holes, varnish streaking on bark, and sawdust
at the base of the tree are the most visible symptoms
of poplar borers.
Adult poplar borer. Photo courtesy of Marius Aurelian
Cultural (Non-chemical) Controls:
For more information on chemicals available for control of these
pests, call Agriculture Canada's Pesticides Directorate in Ottawa
(toll-free) at 1-800-267-6315. Chemical pesticides may be toxic to
humans, animals, birds, fish, and beneficial insects. Follow all label
instructions and precautions listed by the manufacturer.
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