Larch bark beetle

Larch bark beetle, this + 5 mm small beetle lives exclusively on and in larch trees.

Do not confuse with:
European spruce bark beetle

recognize Larch bark beetle
Larch bark beetle, photo: Udo Schmidt - CC BY-SA 2.0

Larch bark beetle (Ips cembrae). This + 5 mm small beetle lives exclusively on and in larch trees. This beetle belongs to the bark beetles (Curculionidae) and is found throughout Europe.
In spring, the beetles bore tunnels in the longitudinal direction of larch branches and twigs and in the trunks of young larch trees. The female beetles lay eggs in alcoves perpendicular to the main corridor. The larvae from the eggs extend the alcoves into tunnels that are also perpendicular to the main corridor while eating. This creates the distinctive featherlike pattern.
Larch bark beetles betray their presence by yellowish borage on the trunk or branches, brown discolored tree crowns, loss of needles and bark shedding. The European spruce bark beetle exhibits the same characteristics in terms of presence. Larch bark beetle damage is characterized by a large amount of snapped branches around the trunk of the larch. Infestation by the beetle’s larvae weakens the branches and twigs, causing them to snap under their own weight.
The larch bark beetle overwinters as a beetle in the plant litter; pupa and larva hibernate under the bark of the larch.

Where to find


Difficult to to control; once the bark is loose, the damage is irreversible. Cutting down tree (private garden) is the only remedy. In addition, this prevents contamination of neighboring trees.


Provide a woodpecker-friendly environment: woodpeckers eat insects including the European spruce bark beetle.
In forestry, avoid monocultures; in a diverse forest, the larch bark beetle is less likely to spread.
In forestry lark bark beetles  are sometimes lured with bait trunk: felled larch trees are laid on the ground, then infested by the beetles. As soon as the eggs are laid, the infested trunk is taken away.

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