The black turpentine beetle is one of five common species of pine bark beetles in the US. It causes considerable damage to stressed pines throughout its range which spreads from coastal New Hampshire to Florida and as far west as eastern Texas.
Regions and Trees Affected
Adults typically infest the lower area of the trunk and will occasionally attack the tree's roots. In certain areas, the black turpentine beetle has been recorded infesting healthy Japanese black pines, thus behaving more like an invasive species.
Female beetles bore into the tree phloem producing a reddish dust. They continue on to the sapwood where they carve out galleries to attract the male for mating. Once larvae become adults, they emerge and seek out favorable trees to continue the cycle.
Because healthy, well-watered trees can kill the initial boring females, irrigation especially during drought periods is essential for prevention and reducing attacks.