Bark beetles

By The Old House Web

Bark beetles

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Adults are small (2 to 4 mm), hard beetles, brown to black, with a down-curved head barely visible from above. The larvae burrow under the bark of weakened trees in distinctly patterned galleries. These beetles can cause the premature death of weakened trees. They also spread fungal diseases, such as the Dutch elm disease. They are gregarious insects, preferring to attack trees already infested with bark beetles. They may also attack dead or cut wood.

Bark beetles successfully breed in trees that are severely stressed or dying. Newly transplanted trees may be particularly susceptible to attack by these insects. Proper cultural practices to promote tree vigor are often the most important means of controlling most bark beetle problems. Often, these techniques are sufficient for control.

A few bark beetles are capable of killing healthy trees, either through coordinated mass attacks or through introduction of fungus diseases into healthy trees (elm bark beetles). Sanitation and insecticide applications are of great importance in managing these pest situations.

To control bark beetles with insecticide applications, you must wet the bark thoroughly to the point of run-off immediately prior to the egg-laying period.

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