Have you heard of the Ips pine bark beetle? Formerly an unknown insect, it’s slowly becoming a household name, but not for positive reasons. In fact, there’s a current outbreak of the pine bark beetles that has killed millions of pine trees throughout North America, including Colorado. If you want to protect your beautiful pine trees from destruction, read on to learn more about pine bark beetles, including signs of their presence and ways to prevent an infestation.
How Does the Ips Pine Bark Beetle Damage Trees?
Pine bark beetles feed mostly on the inner bark of pine trees. As they tunnel through and consume the bark, it chokes off the flow of nutrients to various areas of the tree. As if that weren’t bad enough, the beetles also introduce a fungus into the tree which can prevent the supply of water of traveling up through the tree from the roots.
What are the Warning Signs of a Pine Bark Beetle Infestation?
One of the most common indicators of a pine bark beetle infestation is the fading of the needle color on a pine tree. First, the needles turn from dark green to pale green. When the colonization worsens, the needles will turn straw yellow then rusty red. This typically occurs over several months. Other signs include boring dust (usually bright red in color during the initial colonization), tunnels in the bark and pitch tubes (eruptions of sap from a hole in the bark).
How Can I Protect My Trees from Pine Bark Beetles?
If you’re located in Denver or the surrounding suburbs, you’re in luck. Fit Turf has two Metro Denver locations that provide a pine bark beetle prevention treatment. This program involves two separate sprays of pine trees that would be susceptible to this kind of infestation. The treatment effectively keeps pesky pine bark beetles away so that you don’t have to worry about losing your beautiful pines. Give our Westminster or Centennial location a call to schedule a free consultation.