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Bark beetle is a beetle that lives under the bark of a tree and feeds on it, as a result of which the tree will certainly die.
Apple, as well as wrinkled and unpaired bark beetles in their menu prefer fruit trees - apple, cherry, plum, etc.
Bark beetles are capable of destroying not only individual trees, but also entire gardens and plantations.
Fight against bark beetle extremely difficult, however, with proper care and certain processing, success can be achieved.
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The harm caused by the bark beetle on the apple tree
As the famous saying goes, you need to know the enemy by sight. Therefore, to begin with, let's figure out what the bark beetle is.
The bark beetle is a small beetle, about 5-6 cm. The body of an adult beetle is hairy, brown in color, close to a cylinder in shape.
Penetrating into the trunk of a tree, the beetle settles there, feeding on living tissues.
The beetle also reproduces inside the tree. In the spring, the female lays eggs, the hatched larvae live for a whole year in the passages made by the female, and feed on the sap of the tree, and in the spring they form into adult beetles.
Bark beetles destroy a tree, gnawing it from the inside - they make hundreds of moves, moving from one point to another. These passages interfere with the normal movement of the sap, which causes the tree to weaken and prematurely dry out.
At the same time, they throw the dust out. In addition to eating the bark, these insects also act as carriers of diseases, both fungal and infectious.
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Why does the bark beetle attack the apple tree
As a rule, the bark beetle chooses sick or weakened trees as a victim. Scientists have proven that these beetles have a very strong sense of smell, so they are able to smell the trees they need even at very large distances, up to a kilometer.
Weakened trees can be called trees that grow too close to buildings and to each other - this depresses their root system, they cannot fully develop it. In addition, various mechanical damages on trees are dangerous - cracks, open cuts, etc.
However, sometimes bark beetles attack healthy trees, and apple trees are especially susceptible to this. This often happens when the bark beetle has started in the garden, and the tree damaged by the beetle has not been processed in time.
Thus, the bark beetle, having dealt with one object, proceeds to the next, which is nearby.
This also includes the presence of dead wood, stumps and mushrooms on the site, which is an ideal habitat for bark beetles.
Also, the bark beetle can settle on those trees that have been recently transplanted - within 1-2 years. However, in this case, too, the reason is most often the weakness of the tree, which has not yet had time to sufficiently take root.
Another reason why a tree can be attacked by a bark beetle may be insufficient, incorrect or untimely processing of the tree, as well as its complete absence.
Signs of populating a tree with a bark beetle
There are a great many wood pests. And the bark beetle is not always to blame for the disease or death of a tree. In order to understand how to fight, you first need to determine with whom to fight.
So, let's consider the main signs indicating that a bark beetle has settled in a tree:
- the presence of brown or yellow dust next to the tree - the beetle throws it out in the process of gnawing through the passages, and, in addition, the smell of this dust attracts other relatives of the bark beetle;
- woodpeckers appear in the garden or on a specific tree - these birds feed on bark beetles;
- round holes appear on the bark, they are also called flight holes, resin can also flow out of there;
- the bark is peeling off the tree trunk - this is a sure sign that the tree has already died and there is nothing you can do to help it; the most correct solution in this case is to delete the tree;
- under the bark of the tree there are drawings of various shapes - they appear as a result of the laying of eggs by females.
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Methods of dealing with bark beetle on an apple tree
Fighting the bark beetle in the garden is difficult, sometimes unsuccessful. Of course, it is better to keep the trees "in good shape", to process them in time for preventive purposes, and then the risk of waging a war with parasites will be reduced to a minimum.
However, what to do if bark beetles have settled on the tree? Consider methods of dealing with this dangerous pest (you can learn more about other pests here).
1. Prevention of trees in the garden. This includes identifying diseased trees, treating them if possible, or removing them completely to avoid contamination of neighboring trees.
2. Conducting regular inspections of trees on the site. If, as a result, signs of the appearance of a bark beetle were noticed, you need to clean the affected area of the trunk from the bark - as a rule, there are eggs laid by the female in it.
If the affected area is small, you can independently spray the tree with a solution of karbofos or chlorophos. It is also necessary to collect fallen leaves and dry branches - there may be larvae - and burn them.
3. One of the methods is to catch beetles. It is carried out in the spring after pruning the plants.
Cut branches are placed around the skeletal branches of fruit trees. Over the summer, bark beetles settle on these branches, and in the fall they are burned.
4. If branches damaged by a beetle are found, they must be cut off, and the trunks should be lubricated with a mixture of manure and clay or oil paint.
5. Spraying of trees with chemicals is carried out immediately after the flowering of trees, since it is during this period that beetles fly out.
Such processing can be carried out in several stages, but not earlier than two weeks after the previous one.
6. In addition, chemicals can be poured directly into the beetle's gnawed passages. For this, disposable syringes are used.
7. Carrying out the treatment with insecticides, you need to pay special attention to the abundant wetting of the bark.
The damage from the bark beetle is truly enormous, and is often compared to the Colorado potato beetle. The described methods will help gardeners to protect their trees from death due to the attack of the bark beetle. All of them are gentle and limited only to the removal of individual affected areas.
In many cases, this is enough, but one should soberly assess the situation, and if the tree is badly damaged, it will be rational to cut it down in order to prevent the spread of the bark beetle on other trees.