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Mountain Pine Beetle

Quick Facts…
by D.A. Leatherman, I. Aguayo, and T.M. Mehall1

Mountain pine beetles (MPB) are the most important insect pest of Colorado’s pine forests. MPB often kill large numbers of trees annually during outbreaks.
Trees that are not growing vigorously due to old age, crowding, poor growing conditions, drought, fire or mechanical damage, root disease and other causes are most likely to be attacked.

For a long-term remedy, thin susceptible stands. Leave well-spaced, healthy trees.
For short-term controls, spray, burn, chip, or peel attacked trees to kill the beetles. Preventive sprays can protect green, unattacked trees.


Adult Dendroctonus
Adult Eps

Figure 1: Adult Dendroctonus (left) versus Ips (right). Note gradually curved wing of Dendroctonus. Actual size of Dendroctonus from 1/8 to 1/3 inch, Ips 1/3 to 1/4 inch.

Mountain pine beetle (MPB), Dendroctonus ponderosae, is native to the forests of western North America. Periodic outbreaks of the insect, previously called the Black Hills beetle or Rocky Mountain pine beetle, can result in losses of millions of trees. Outbreaks develop irrespective of property lines, being equally evident in wilderness areas, mountain subdivisions and back yards. Even windbreak or landscape pines many miles from the mountains can succumb to beetles imported in infested firewood.

If you would like to read more about Mountain pine beetles please see the link below.