Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) may be familiar to residents of northeast Colorado who lived here during the epidemic of this insect two decades ago. Once the state’s most deadly forest pest, the mountain pine beetle affected about 80 percent of pine forests in Colorado from 1996-2014.
While the epidemic has subsided, outbreaks of this native bark beetle still pop up in pine forests across Colorado, enabled by overly dense forests and ongoing drought conditions.
Colorado State Forest Service foresters are monitoring what could be the start of an outbreak of mountain pine beetle along the Interstate 70 corridor near Idaho Springs and Black Hawk, as well as increased activity of this insect in the northern Black Forest near Colorado Springs. This time around, this insect is affecting primarily ponderosa pines.
- FAQ On Pine Beetles
- Mountain Pine Beetle fact sheet
- A year in the life of a mountain pine beetle – an illustrated booklet (great for kids!)
- Research on how to protect your trees from pine beetle – what works, what doesn’t
- Position paper on the use of verbenone
- When will the beetles fly? In lodgepole pine, beetles can emerge as early as early July, peaking in late July to early August, and ending by early Sept. Reports of “beetles flying early” are usually misidentification of other beetles, such as red turpentine beetles, or ips beetles.
- What to do with your infested trees
- Public Works accepts infected trees. Contact Public Works at 303-582-5004 to make an appointment to drop off infected trees and slash.
- Solar treating pine-beetle attacked trees to prevent infestation of new trees (START no later than May 1!)
- Bark Beetles: Are Your Trees At Risk?