Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle (BSLB)

Photo Credit: Natural Resources Canada

The Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle (Tetroplium fuscum, BSLB), is an exotic quarantine pest known to affect spruce trees. It is native to northern and central Europe, and it poses a direct threat to the forests of North America and to the trade in Canadian forest commodities.

The larvae consume the phloem which transports the food to the roots and once a tree is infested it will get continually weaker with each subsequent infestation until the tree dies, which can take between one and five years.

The BSLB was discovered in Halifax in 1999, but has been established in Nova Scotia since at least 1990. The insect has been under regulatory control by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as a quarantine pest since 2000. In order to help prevent the spread of BSLB to areas in Canada that are not infested with the beetle, CFIA issued a Ministerial Order, which restricts the movement of spruce logs and firewood out of the infested area in Nova Scotia.  

The CFIA surveys eastern Canada for BSLB, using pheromone-baited traps developed by the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) of Natural Resources Canada at the Atlantic Forestry Centre. This pheromone, called “fuscumol” (patent granted) after the BSLB’s scientific name, Tetropium fuscum, is the first chemical of its kind to be described from a longhorn beetle, and the first pheromone reported from the sub-family Aseminae.

The CFIA also regulates the movement of high-risk spruce products from infested areas to reduce the artificial spread of BSLB, and supports Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) research on BSLB ecology and mitigation.

Further Web Resources:

Science@NRCan Profile Dr. Jon Sweeney


Fact Sheet 

Research Projects 

Forest Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet


CFS Science Highlights: How are we improving the detection of invasive forest insects?

BSLB Best Management Practices

CFS Impact Note 39: Using Lures and Traps to Detect the BSLB

CFS Exotic Forest Pest Advisory

All information was provided by Natrual Resources Canada - Canadian Forest Service.

BSLB Information