Tree Spraying for Pine Beetles

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To protect your trees from bark or pine beetles, spraying with an approved pesticide is the most effective treatment option, and can be more than 99% effective when administered correctly by a certified pesticide applicator like TigerTree. To be effective, the entire tree from top to bottom needs to be covered with pesticide to ensure the beetles have no entrance into the trunk of the tree.

Because tree spraying is a preventive tactic against pine beetles, only non-infested, healthy trees should be selected for spraying. Once a tree has become fatally infested with bark beetles, there is no available treatment.

Tree Spraying from TigerTree

How effective is preventive spraying?  TigerTree achieved a 99% success rate in 2011 treating trees against the pine beetle.

See our spraying crews in action:

Your Trees are Valuable

A study by the Rocky Mountain Research Station shows that each tree killed by pine beetles in a 0.1 km buffer around a property reduces the overall property value by $648.  This makes tree protection very important in maintaining your property value during this bark beetle epidemic. Learn more about this property value study.

Pesticide Information and Effectiveness

There are several different pesticides available for treatment against pine beetle attacks.  The best pesticide combination will remain potent against bark beetles for the duration of the beetle flight, while causing as little harm to the environment as possible.

We use a combination of a pyrethrum-based pesticide along with a silicone-based surfactant.  This combination of pesticide and surfactant has proven to be successful against bark beetles with limited negative effects on the surrounding environment.

However, pyrethrum-based insecticides are highly toxic to both freshwater and estuarine aquatic organisms, so for this reason, we will not spray trees within 50 feet of any open waterways.  We care about your trees and also the surrounding environment, and will not sacrifice aquatic health for a tree’s safety against bark beetles.

Learn more about the pyrethrum-based insecticide used by TigerTree.

When You Can’t Spray: Treatment Using Pheromones

Tree spraying is the most effective protection against pine beetles, but if your trees are located within 50 feet of water (creek, pond, lake, etc.), spraying is not an option because of the insecticide’s toxicity to fish. An alternative in these areas is to use pheromone pouches to trick the beetles instead.

Pine beetles release a pheromone when they find areas of trees that are good candidates for infesting, then they emit a different pheromone when an area has reached its capacity for new infestations.  There are pouches on the market that emit this “no vacancy” pheromone that be used to deter beetles from infesting an area.


Pheromone pouches should be applied immediately before the pine beetle flight to ensure maximum effectiveness.  There are different tactics used in placing the pheromones, but a general guideline is 30-60 pouches per acre.  The effectiveness of pheromones once again depends on the local level of infestation.  In areas of heavy infestation, the effectiveness of pheromones has proven to be minimal.  But they are a good choice for areas around water that cannot be sprayed and can be effective when used in conjunction with other treatments, especially spraying.