Probably the most common sign of bark beetle infestation is the presence of small holes on the outside of the bark and tiny groove-like channels on the inside. Often, sap, pitch or sawdust will be coming out of the holes. Although it may be difficult to detect, there may be some browning of leaves involved.

Like a lot of tree pests, bark beetles tend to infest older, weaker trees in the home landscape. Young trees with smooth bark are not bothered. They need mature bark which they can lay their eggs on so the newly hatched larvae can burrow underneath to grow into adults.

In themselves, bark beetles are most damaging as vectors for serious tree diseases. They are known to be the major carriers of Dutch elm disease and some other fungal wilt diseases which will ultimately kill the tree.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

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