How to Get Rid of Bark Beetles: Eight Tips

Many ask us how to get rid of bark beetles. Considering the damage a bark beetle infestation causes, this is hardly surprising. As your trusted tree service professionals in Buford, GA, our Georgia Tree Company team recommends professional solutions. 

We can identify the species of bark beetles in infested trees to select the best treatment measures. We also advise you on preventive measures to protect drought-stressed trees going forward. 

However, for those wanting to know how to get rid of bark beetles themselves, these tips can help. However, the treatment depends on the sizes of the bark beetle populations and the number of infested trees. 

1. Keep Fresh Wood Away from Growing Trees

Freshly cut lumber is highly enticing to beetles. The most important tip is, therefore, to keep cut wood as far away from the remaining trees as possible. Destroy infested wood if possible. 

2. Thinning

Thinning is both helpful and problematic. The freshly cut lumber can attract more beetles, so you have to remove the trees and their stumps. However, it can work if: 

  • You haul away the materials to be chipped or buried within one month. 
  • Remove chipped pieces if you chip the trees onsite. 
  • Store the chip piles in full sunlight so that they dry out as quickly as possible. 
  • Remove the trees in winter when beetle activity is lower. 

3. Insecticides

Insecticides can prevent the spread of pests but will not kill them inside the tree. However, the chemicals require professional application on a larger scale. Pros will saturate the trunk and also the base layer of any branches that are over four inches in diameter. 

They also use a purpose-built product, as general permethrin sprays will not work. The proper products and their application are more expensive but will last the whole season. 

4. Proactive Treatments

If you have a high-value tree in an area prone to beetle infestation, it’s worth taking proactive steps. You can use: 

  • The insecticides suggested above
  • Deeply watering native trees and repeating the process once a month if the soil dries out
  • Foregoing fertilizer treatments that make the tree consume additional water 

5. Check for Signs of Life

When learning how to get rid of bark beetles, let the tree’s health guide you. Scratch the bark and see if various twigs and branches are still alive. If not, it’s better to cut the tree down. 

6. Check for Signs of a Complete Infestation

It’s also a good idea to check for boring dust in the bark crevices. These indicate a successful infestation, making it wise to remove the tree. It’s a tough decision to remove a living tree, but it may protect your other trees and home from damage. 

7. Check the Tree’s Crown

If the beetles infested the crown, it’s tempting to lop the top of the tree off. Most trees cannot survive this treatment and will quickly ail and die. Remove it before it becomes hazardous. 

8. Contact the Professionals

No one knows how to treat a tree for insect infestation and how to get rid of bark beetles better than Georgia Tree Company. Contact us at 404-990-0010!

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