Bark beetle has done major damage to many areas with high populations of pine trees and now has started to show up in areas within the Minneapolis metro area. This pest can be found mainly in white pines. The picture to the right is of an adult pine bark beetle. Don't let the size fool you, as this bug is smaller than a grain of rice. These pests work in mass to channel through the living tissue of pine trees. One characteristic that makes this pest very harmful is that it spends most of its lifecycle inside of the tree feeding off of the living layer.
The tunnel systems these pests make are very intricate and often resemble spider webs. As you can see in the picture on the bottom right the adult bark beetle the exit wounds are the size of a pin head and often can be found in large numbers. Unlike many other pests bark beetle often will start at the trunk of the tree near the base. In these cases the tree will turn brown very quick and nothing can be done to save them. Most other insects start near the top of the tree and work their way down.
These pests tend to work from early spring until the fall making treatment time as soon as possible. Treatments will need to continue until the pest has passed the area and killed off all similar trees, which can take many years.
Bark beetle is easy to treat for if it treatment is carried out correctly by a professional. Trunk banding or trunk injections of insecticide are the only recommended treatments for this pest. Have a professional from Arbor Doctor out today to help save your pines from this destructive insect.