What are Ipps Bark Beetles?
Ipps bark beetles can infest any pine species within their range and other conifers such as spruce, fir, and hemlock. The first visible symptoms are needles turning yellow or red splattered and blotchy throughout the canopy. Then you can find dry reddish-brown boring dust that is visible in bark crevices. You can find reddish-brown pitch tubes generally ⅛”-⅜” in size in bark crevices. You will also see very, very small holes throughout the bark, almost as if someone came along with a ballpoint pen and marked all over the tree. Ipps beetle is a vector of the blue stain fungus that ultimately leads to the death of your tree.
Most attacks are initiated by male bark beetles tunneling through the outer bark and excavating a small chamber in which to mate. After the tree has been infested, the males release a pheromone that attracts the females. Mating occurs, and females then construct egg galleries and lay eggs. Eggs hatch and begin feeding outward from the gallery with each larva creating its own tunnel. Larvae pupate at the end of their tunnel, emerging as adults who continue feeding and creating winging tunnels in the inner bark before maturing and exiting through the bark. One generation generally is completed in about 21-40 days depending on weather. Development is much quicker during the hot summer months but ceases below about 59 degrees. Multiple generations throughout the year can attack a tree.