Bark Beetle

Bark Beetles are small hard-bodied insects, not much bigger than a grain of rice (1/6 to 1/4 inches). Their appearance can vary, but they are usually black, brown or dark red. However, the beetles themselves are rarely seen.

Damage From Bark Beetles

Bark Beetles usually attack trees that are weakened, stressed or in decline, working their way through the bark, feeding underneath and leaving behind tubes in the wood. Signs of infestations include the presence of brown boring sawdust near entry holes, pitch (sap) tubes on the outside of the bark, galleries or tunnels under the bark, beetle adults and larvae in the inner bark, tiny holes in the branches and trunk, and yellowing or reddening of tree crown. Adult bark beetles lay eggs in a main tunnel or just under the bark, and as the white larvae emerge, they cause additional tunneling damage, further cutting off the flow of water and nutrients to the canopy. Many different types of trees, both broadleaved and conifers, can be attacked by bark beetles. They are difficult to control.

Where Bark Beetles are Found Geographically

Bark Beetles are common throughout the United States. 

Related or Similar Pests 

Mountain Pine Beetle. Elm Bark Beetle.



Cultural Controls

  • Since weakened and stressed tress are most susceptible, make sure to take proper care of your trees during all seasons, especially young trees or during periods of drought.
  • Prune to remove damaged or infested branches. 
  • For additional methods of controlling Bark Beetles, contact your local cooperative extension service.