Pine Bark Beetles

There are numerous species of Ips and Dendroctonus, bark beetles, that infest conifers throughout North America. 

Adults tunnel through the bark, mate and lay eggs in the phloem (inner bark). The larvae develop in the phloem and cambial region; pupal development is completed in the outer bark. Adults develop from pupae and emerge by boring out through the bark. Multiple generations a year are possible.

Download Pest Sheet




  • Common Symptoms
    • Symptoms of infestation include: pitch tubes, reddish boring dust, adult exit holes, and yellowing foliage. The beetles commonly attack drought stressed trees. High numbers of attacks to trees are possible, which can result in extensive vascular injury and ultimately, tree death.

    • Research studies using TREE-äge insecticide (containing 4% Emamectin Benzoate) have demonstrated great results against conifer bark beetles, depending on the pest species targeted. TREE-äge contains the active ingredient emamectin benzoate and is formulated to translocate in the tree’s vascular system when injected. This product must be injected into active sapwood and will actively control pests for up to two years with a single application.


    When To Treat
    • Effective injection treatment is favored by a full canopy (i.e., leaves) and healthy vascular system. Once these tissues are compromised by arthropod damage (larval galleries, defoliation, leaf mining, etc.) an effective and uniform application of TREE-äge may be difficult to achieve and subsequent control may be poor. Optimally, treatment should be made preventively at least 2 to 3 weeks before arthropods historically infest the host tree. As a result of systemic movement and longevity of TREE-äge in trees, this interval may be extended much earlier to 6 months should tree dormancy, adverse weather, management, asynchronous life cycle of pests, etc., allow earlier application timing.

      TREE-äge may also be effective as a remedial treatment against some pests, such as those with slower development or if multiple life stages are susceptible to TREE-äge . Pests that attack the stem and branches such as bark beetles and clearwing borers may disrupt vascular tissue resulting in poor distribution in an infested tree. This includes the initial larval stages of pests, such as bark beetles and clearwing borers, that attack the stem and branches, which may disrupt vascular tissue resulting in poor distribution of the product in an infested tree. However, control may be achieved if larvae come into contact or feed on TREE-äge treated tissues

    What To Expect After Treatment
    • You can expect TREE-äge to be systemically distributed throughout the treated tree and protect the tree from the pest for up to 2 years.

    References And Photo Credits
    • References

      1 Effectiveness of Two Systemic Insecticides for Protecting Western Conifers from Mortality Due to Bark Beetle Attack
      Don M. Grosman, Christopher J. Fettig, Carl L. Jorgensen, and A. Steven Munson
      Western Journal of Applied Forestry 25(4) 2010

      2 Efficacy of Systemic Insecticides for Protection of Loblolly Pine Against Southern Pine Beetles (Coleoptera: Cuculionidae: Scolytinae) and Wood Borers (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
      Donald M. Grosman and William W. Upton
      Journal of Econ. Entomol. 99 (1): 94-101 (2006)


      Photo Credits

      Main photo taken by USDA Forest Service – Region 8 – Southern Archive, USDA Forest Service,
      Jeffery Pine Beetle pupa taken by Tia Smith,
      Bark damage taken by Roger Anderson, Duke University,

©2016 Arborjet, Inc. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some crop protection products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your state or local extension service to ensure registration status. TREE-äge® Insecticide is a Restricted Use Pesticide and must only be sold to and used by a state certified applicator or by persons under their direct supervision.  TREE-äge® is a registered trademark of Arborjet, Inc.