pine beetles

Pine Beetles: Behavior and How to Prevent Them

Pine beetles are not like other bugs. In the last decade, they have been responsible for killing off millions of acres of pines in the southern United States, Switzerland, and other areas of Europe. Bit by bit, they have spread across the United States, making a home in heavily forested areas. Knowing what they behave like and how to protect your trees from them will help your trees live a long and happy life. 


Spotting the Beetles and Their Behavior

Knowing what to look out for makes the job a lot easier when trying to prevent their damage. Pine beetles are beetles that measure 3-7 millimeters in length. They are black and have larger bodies with smaller heads. They usually dig into trees and leave trails behind them as they burrow. Their purpose for digging into trees is to feed on the bark. In addition to feeding off it, female pine beetles lay their eggs into the tree after burrowing into it. As a result, this messes with the water-conducting system of the tree.


Once the eggs hatch, these newborn pine beetles feed off of the area where they hatched and then go to find a new tree to repeat the process all over. This causes infestations in whichever forest these small beetles find themselves in. 


With this type of behavior, it’s no secret why these beetles are causing an epidemic wherever they go. The trick is to make sure your trees are ready before these little monsters make their initial attack. 


Prevention and Eradication

First, you will want to determine if your trees have any signs of pine beetle damage. These signs manifest themselves in the forms of small scar lines along the tree trunk, small balls of yellowish residue forming out of these scars, and wilting leaves. If you spot any of these in a tree, there is a good chance your tree is already suffering. Some trees are too far along to save, but if you spot several without any signs of pine beetles, then the time to act is now. 


Some of the best pine beetle prevention is achieved through preventative pine beetle spray. With the right equipment, this spray can do wonders to prevent pine beetle infestations in your yard. 

Front Range Arborists have all the equipment and expertise to efficiently apply these insecticides. This treatment applies to unaffected trees and trees that are mildly affected. If you perceive that there may be an infestation brewing in your yard, call the pros at Front Range Arborists. We can provide you with a free estimate and come up with a solution to your dilemma. Make sure to make a move before the beetles make theirs.