Common Pine Shoot Beetles: Identification Behavior, and Control

Common Pine Shoot Beetles, scientifically known as Tomicus piniperda, are a species of bark beetles that primarily infest various species of pine trees. They are native to Europe but have spread to many other regions worldwide. These beetles can cause significant damage to pine forests and plantations, making them a concern for foresters and homeowners alike.

Common Pine Shoot Beetles

Identifying Common Pine Shoot Beetles

Common Pine Shoot Beetles have distinctive characteristics that aid in their identification:

  • Size: Adults range from 3 to 5 millimeters in length.
  • Body Shape: They have cylindrical bodies with a dark brown to black coloration.
  • Head and Antennae: The head is elongated, and the antennae are short with a clubbed tip.
  • Wing Covers: The wing covers exhibit a mottled appearance with lighter and darker patches.
  • Pronotum: The pronotum has a characteristic hump-like shape.

Life Cycle and Behavior

Common Pine Shoot Beetles follow a typical bark beetle life cycle, which consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They typically infest stressed, weakened, or injured pine trees. The adult beetles bore into the bark, creating galleries in the phloem tissue where they lay eggs. The larvae hatch and feed on the inner bark, while pupation occurs within the tree. The new adults emerge, mate, and continue the cycle.

Damage Caused by Common Pine Shoot Beetles

Infestations of Common Pine Shoot Beetles can lead to severe damage to pine trees. The feeding activities of the larvae disrupt the transportation of water and nutrients, ultimately causing tree decline and death. Numerous exit holes on the bark and the accumulation of resinous pitch tubes are common signs of infestation. Early detection and intervention are crucial to prevent widespread damage.

Prevention and Control Methods

To mitigate the risk of Common Pine Shoot Beetle infestations, several preventive measures can be taken:

  • Maintain tree health: Promote overall vigor through proper watering, fertilization, and pruning.
  • Remove infested material: Remove and destroy infested trees, branches, and logs to prevent the beetles’ spread.
  • Monitor tree stress: Identify and address drought, nutrient deficiencies, or other stressors that make trees susceptible to infestation.
  • Maintain a buffer zone: Create a physical barrier by removing potential host trees or maintaining distance between pine stands.

Extermination Techniques for Common Pine Shoot Beetles

When an infestation occurs, it is crucial to employ effective extermination techniques. Consulting with a professional extermination service is highly recommended. Common methods used for the eradication of Common Pine Shoot Beetles may include:

  • Tree injection: Injecting insecticides directly into the tree trunk to reach and eliminate the beetles.
  • Trunk sprays: Applying appropriate insecticides to the trunk and lower branches of infested trees.
  • Felling and removal: In severe cases, the complete removal and destruction of infested trees may be necessary to prevent the spread of the beetles.


Do you have a Common Pine Shoot Beetle infestation? Don’t wait! Contact our expert entomologists today for professional extermination services. Safeguard your pine trees and restore the health of your ecosystem.