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Jeffrey Pine Beetle

Jeffrey Pine Beetle, This beetle is found in the eastern region of the united states NY, NJ, Connecticut.

Jeffrey Pine Beetle

Jeffrey Pine Beetle

There are many different kinds of bark beetles. Some beetles attack only one species of tree, such as the Jeffrey pine beetle, which attacks only Jeffrey pine. Others attack several species of related trees. For example, the fir engraver attacks several species of firs, but doesn’t attack pines. They all have a similar way of attacking trees, however, and all go through a complete metamorphosis from egg to larva to pupa to adult.

Bark beetles, family Scolytidae, are common pests of conifers (such as pines) and some attack broadleaf trees. Over 600 species occur in the United States and Newyork and connecticut with approximately 200 in California alone.The Jeffrey pine beetle and mountain pine beetle are also frequent pests of pines. Two recently invasive species, the Mediterranean pine engraver and the redhaired pine bark beetle, colonize various Mediterranean pines, which are widely planted in and around the Los Angeles Basin and the Central Valley.

Life Cycle: Bark beetles are small insects — not much bigger than a grain of rice. They feed and reproduce in the inner bark layer, called the phloem. The phloem is found between the outer bark and the wood of the tree. For somespecies, like the Jeffrey pine beetle, when an adult female attacks a tree, she bores through the bark and begins to excavate atunnel, called a “gallery”, into the phloem and on the wood surface. She then chews pockets in the sides of the gallery, laying one egg in each pocket, until she’s laid several dozen eggs.

If you see wood from a bark beetle attacked tree, it will have a characteristic gallery pattern on its surface.For Jeffrey pine beetles, the adult gallery will have a “j-shaped” hook at the base and then will travel vertically along the trunk for up to three feet. Other species of adult beetles excavate shorter, vertical or even horizontal galleries.After the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the inner bark and dig out galleries of their own, often perpendicular to the original gallery of the parents. As the larvae feed, their ever-widening galleries, in addition to the adult galleries, will cut the phloem and outer sapwood all the way around the tree, damaging or killing it. This is called “girdling.”

Damage: Bark beetles mine the inner bark (the phloem-cambial region) on twigs, branches, or trunks of trees and shrubs. This activity often starts a flow of tree sap in conifers, but sometimes even in hardwoods like elm and walnut. The sap flow (pitch tube) is accompanied by the sawdustlike frass created by the beetles. Frass accumulates in bark crevices or may drop and be visible on the ground or in spider webs. Small emergence holes in the bark are a good indication that bark beetles were present. Removal of the bark with the emergence holes often reveals dead and degraded inner bark and sometimes new adult beetles that have not yet emerged. Bark beetles frequently attack trees weakened by drought, disease, injuries, or other factors that may stress the tree. Bark beetles can contribute to the decline and eventual death of trees, however only a few aggressive species are known to be the sole cause of tree mortality.

In addition to attacking larger limbs, some species such as cedar and cypress bark beetles feed by mining twigs up to 6 inches back from the end of the branch, resulting in dead tips. These discolored shoots hanging on the tree are often referred to as “flagging” or “flags.” Adult elm bark beetles feed on the inner bark of twigs before laying eggs. If an adult has emerged from cut logs or a portion of a tree that is infected by Dutch elm disease, the beetle’s body will be contaminated with fungal spores.

Jeffrey Pine Beetle

Jeffrey Pine Beetle

Control: Tree Selection. Plant only species properly adapted to the area. Learn the cultural requirements of trees, and provide proper care to keep them growing vigorously. Healthy trees are less likely to be attacked and are better able to survive attacks from a few bark beetles. Where bark beetles have been a problem, plant nonhost trees. For instance, engraver beetles and red turpentine beetles do not attack redwoods or atlas cedars. A mixture of tree and shrub species in planted landscapes will reduce mortality resulting from bark beetles and wood borers.

Unless trees are monitored regularly so that bark beetle attack can be detected early, any chemical spray application made once the beetles have aggregated and penetrated the bark is likely to be too late and ineffective. Treatment must target the adults by spraying the bark so that beetles are killed when they land on trees and attempt to bore into the bark to lay eggs. Chemically treating trees that have been previously attacked will provide no benefit and could kill beneficial insects. Seriously infested trees, or trees that are dead or dying due to previous beetle attacks, cannot be saved with insecticide treatments and should be removed. Systemic insecticides, meaning those that are implanted or injected through the bark or applied to soil beneath trees, have not been shown to prevent attack or control populations of bark beetles. Although new systemic products are being investigated, they are not currently recommended for bark beetle control.

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