Bioscience

Bark beetles’ song could save forests

February 9, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: The Arizona Republic] – Researchers at Northern Arizona University think they may have found an environmentally safe and readily available weapon against the tree-eating armies of bark beetles.

It is, with apologies to the boys from Liverpool, the music of the beetles.

NAU’s School of Forestry was on the hunt for ways to fight the marauding bugs, which have chewed through millions of acres of the West’s pine forests, leaving behind dead trees and the risk of wildfires.

A research assistant suggested using sounds to aggravate the beetles, much as police sometimes blare music in hostage situations. The researchers tried Queen and Guns N’ Roses and played snippets of radio talker Rush Limbaugh backward. None produced the desired results.

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