The Mountain Pine Beetle is the most important insect pest of Colorado’s pine forests and has killed millions of lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees throughout the central and northern mountains as well as the Front Range foothills. Not relegated to the high country, this beetle has also caused many home owners in Denver to lose beloved pine trees.
Host trees for this pest include, lodgepole, ponderosa, scotch, Austrian and at times, other non-native pine trees. This beetle will generally not affect pinyon or bristlecone pines. Adult beetles will bore into the trunk and deposit eggs under the bark. Once they hatch, the larvae will grow and feed causing interruption in nutrient and gas exchange. Adults also carry a fungal spore associated with blue stain of the wood and this will also aid in killing an infested tree. Once infested, there is no control for that tree so the best measure of control is a preventative insecticidal trunk spray, applied before the adult beetles fly in the summer time to help to protect your valuable trees.