Are pine trees an integral part of your home’s landscape? If so, you should be aware of the dangers posed by the bark beetles.
Defined as particular genera of beetles in the subfamily Scolytinae, bark beetles are a major nuisance to homeowners, as some of the most common species like the red turpentine beetle and mountain pine beetle have been known to attack precious landscape pines, boring holes into them and destroying them from the inside out.
As a homeowner, you should take certain steps to protect your landscape pines from bark beetles. Waiting until you notice the signs of an infestation will make treating the problem even more difficult. So, what can you do as a homeowner to protect the pine trees in your yard from these tiny little invaders?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), chemical insecticides have been proven effective in the prevention of bark beetles. The most effective insecticides are organophate carbaryl, permthrin, and bifenthrin.
The USDA notes, however, that these chemicals must be applied to the bark before the beetles attack. Unfortunately, no insecticide has been shown to prevent tree death after an infestation has already occurred.
Another solution to deter bark beetles from your landscape pines is to apply synthetic pheromones to it. The idea behind this tactic is to trigger the beetles’ neurological pathways, telling it to “go away.”
Beetles, like many insects, are driven by pheromones, which is why this technique works. Verbenone is one such synthetic pheromone that can deter bark beetles from a pine tree.
Much like the insecticides mentioned above, however, it’s best to apply Verbenone before an outbreak begins for maximum effectiveness.
Watch the Roots and Trunks
Whether you are mowing the lawn, pressure washing your home’s siding, or performing general construction work outside your home, you should use caution to avoid hitting or otherwise disturbing your pine trees’ roots and trunks.
Even small dings and nicks may promote bark beetle infestations, as the beetles will have an easier time boring holes into the tree. Keep your pine trees’ roots and trunks clean and intact to reduce the risk of infestation.
These are just a few steps that homeowners can take to protect their landscape pines from bark beetles. Remember, prevention is critical to mitigating the hazard risks posed by these pests.
Whether you use an insecticide, pheromones, or both, your trees need some preventative solution to keep bark beetles at bay.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or