Large elm bark beetle

The large elm bark beetle is a 4 to 6 mm black-brown beetle from the bark beetle family. There is also a small elm bark beetle (Scolytus multistriatus).

Also known as:
Larger European elm bark beetle

recognize elm bark beetle
Large elm bark beetle, photo: U.Schmidt - CC BY-SA 2.0

(Large) elm bark beetle (Scolytus scolytus) is a 4 to 6 mm black-brown beetle in the bark beetle family (Scolytinae). There is also a small elm bark beetle (Scolytus multistriatus).
The elm bark beetle is common in Europe. The larva lives on dead and sick trees and is responsible for the spread of the fungus of Ophiostoma Ulmi, the fungus that causes Dutch elm disease. Females lay eggs under the bark of dead or diseased elms. The larvae from the eggs live off the wood. The beetle that emerges from the larva eats its way out through the trunk of the tree, taking with it the sticky fungus, which can infect a subsequent tree.
The larva of the elm bark beetle is white and has a C-shaped body with an orange head. The larva makes intricate structures under the bark of the tree. The larva overwinters as a pupa.
Young beetles eat the buds of young shoots of elms. Any fungus infect the tree through the holes made by the beetles.

Where to find

  • Elm
  • Cork oak
  • Common hornbeam
  • Prunus species


Difficult to to control; if the beetle is spotted, felling of the tree is necessary to prevent spread of the fungi Ophiostoma ulmi and Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Remove all bark.


Provide good growing conditions and plant less susceptible species of elm.

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