"Invasive red turpentine beetle was under control in China." This was announced at the Monthly News Press of The State Forestry Administration on April 4, 2007 by Mr. Wei Diansheng, Director-General of the Department of Afforestation of the State Forestry Administration, PRC. Dr. Zhibin Zhang, Director of the Institute of Zoology (IOZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences was invited to witness the press release owing to great contribution of IOZ scientists.
The red turpentine beetle (RTB), Dendroctonus valens LeConte, native to North America, was recently introduced into China. In contrast with the general pattern as a secondary pest in North America, in China RTB has spread rapidly since its first outbreak in 1999 in Shanxi Province to three adjacent provinces and has infested over half million ha of pine stands, causing severe mortality. More than 6 million Pinus tabuliformis Carr pines have been killed so far, as well as other pines such as P. bungeana Bucc. It has rapidly become one of the most damaging forest pests in China. The potential damage from this invasive beetle is huge since Chinese pine is most widely planted afforestation species in China. So there is an urgent need for monitoring and control measures for this pest. A research team from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences funded by the Institute and NSF of China, worked closely with forest pest managers in RTB affected areas and an effective integrated pest management of this beetle based on semiochemicals was developed which was immediately put into application with support from the State Forestry Administration in its RTB national management plan. A consecutive several years mass trapping program in conjunction with other measures such as push/pull, quarantine, fumigation and silvicultural, etc. has bought the RTB under control. The RTB infested area has been reduced from initial 620,000 ha to 100,000 ha now with attacking rate under 1%. This has become one of the few successful stories in combating invasive species, a challenge facing many countries with trade globalization.