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How to Kill a Pine Beetle in Your Trees

Pine beetles, also known as bark beetles, are insects that infest and kill your pine trees if you don’t take the appropriate actions to remove them. At the first sight of a pine beetle near your tree, there are most likely many larvae hiding in the bark. Pine beetles are most active between April and early May and can also strongly infest logs and firewood in the late fall. Typical insecticide products will not kill the pine beetles but can be effective for early prevention of an infestation.

Place nuts and sunflower seeds near your tree to help attract woodpeckers, which are natural predators to pine beetles.

Pull back strips of the bark while wearing protective rubber gloves. You will find many of the pine beetle larvae in the bark.

Use a small axe to chip away other areas of bark on your tree until you have removed all areas where you have noticed an infestation.

Burn the strips of barks and continue to check if the infestation continues on the tree within two to three days.

Cut down and burn logs for extreme infestations to prevent the beetles from harming nearby trees.

Bark Beetle Control Options On Pine Trees

Woodpeckers, predaceous beetles, parasitic wasps, snakeflies and predaceous flies will help reduce the numbers of bark beetles but rarely provide effective control. Keep trees irrigated properly by watering deeply and irregularly instead of frequently and shallow. If the pine tree becomes infested with bark beetles, immediately prune and destroy the infested limbs. Unfortunately, the insecticides for residential use will not effectively control bark beetle and chemically controlling these pests is best left to a professional pest control company. Trees that are severely infested with bark beetles cannot be saved and must be removed and destroyed as soon as possible. When storing firewood, wrap it securely in thick, clear plastic sheets and place the cut wood in a sunny area for a few months.


Maintain your tree to prevent pine beetle attacks by spraying appropriate insecticides on your tree. Cut and prune trees in late summer and fall so that the bark is drier and less attractive to the beetles.

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