News from Elsewhere

Peanut butter isn't the only food that sticks to the roof of your mouth
Darren Blackford, a graduate student in entomology from the University of Minnesota, is conducting research on the population levels and impact of the eastern spruce budworm on white spruce growth in both thinned and unthinned stands. Part of his research involves the use of Tanglefoot on sticky traps. These traps are located on platforms set about three feet above the ground. It appears that these are just the right height for bears to easily feed from. And feed they do. Tanglefoot is made from vegetable derivatives and a few bears in the area have developed a taste for it. As an unforeseen opportunity to broaden his research, Darren is looking for a substance that he can place on or around the traps to deter their consumption by the bears. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. He can be reached via email at

Anobiid deathwatch beetles attacking log cabins
During the past year there have been two occurrences of a species of deathwatch beetle in the family Anobiidae attacking the exterior face of aspen logs used for log cabins in Minnesota. One case occurred in Carlton Co. (near Lawler), while the other occurred in St. Louis Co. (near Lake Vermillion). While typically lumped in with true powderpost beetles (family Lyctidae), deathwatch beetles are actually quite different in host range and biology. Lyctid powderpost beetles are confined to attacking the sapwood of large-pored hardwoods oak, hickory, etc.) and
bamboo, while the deathwatch beetles can attack sapwood or heartwood of practically any type of wood. Deathwatch beetles also have an elaborate courtship behavior that can involve eerie tapping sounds (hence the name deathwatch).

Infested logs were collected from both Minnesota localities and the new adult beetles emerged in rearing containers in the forest entomology laboratory at the UMN about two months after the logs were brought to room temperature. Pinned specimens were sent to Dr. Richard White (US National Museum, retired), who identified them as Ptilinus lobatus Casey. Little is known of the biology of these wood destroyers, but like all anobiids, eggs are laid from the outside in cracks, crevices, or old emergence holes on the surface of wood and larvae can take from one to five or six years to develop to the next generation of adults. Adults are likely emerging in Minnesota in June and July. Management techniques for these types of insects were covered in the last issue of this newsletter (see Wood Products Insects in Minnesota by Bob Tiplady). Borate insecticides are available to apply to wood surfaces to prevent newly hatched larvae from boring more deeply into the wood. They should be applied just prior to adult emergence.