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Species Page

six-toothed bark beetle

Ips sexdentatus
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)
Pinus taiwanensis (Taiwan pine)

List of symptoms / signs

Leaves - yellowed or dead
Stems - internal feeding
Stems - visible frass
Whole plant - frass visible
Whole plant - internal feeding
Whole plant - plant dead; dieback


This species is mostly a secondary pest, which generally uses stumps, fallen trees and large branches as host material. However, they will attack trees alone or together with other bark beetles such as Tomicus piniperda (Bouhot et al., 1988). During outbreaks, large economic losses occur due to the death of trees or the degradation of wood due to blue stain fungus (e.g. Ceratocystis spp.). Unhealthy trees, especially those that are drought-stressed, are chosen as hosts. Beetle infection often starts in one part of the tree, usually the top trunk. Subsequent generations attack the remaining parts of the parental tree or attack a different tree. Pitch tubes on apparently healthy trees are evidence of beetle attack. Frass piles also occur on the limbs or are scattered at the base of the tree. An infested tree will probably be top-killed and have a patchwork of green, yellow and brown needles.

Prevention and control

The control of I. sexdentatus outbreaks ranges from difficult to nearly impossible (Schimitschek, 1940) thus the prevention of outbreaks is emphasized. Infested pine stands are typically unmanaged, overstocked and/or environmentally stressed (e.g. by drought or fire). Silvicultural practices are most effective for the control of endemic Ips bark beetle populations. Unhealthy and wind-thrown trees, as well as slash, should be quickly removed and processed. Beetle-infested materials should be cut, piled and burned. Alternatively, the slash can be scattered in sunny areas to desiccate developing beetles (Furniss and Carolin, 1977). Some specific biological control agents have been tested or used to control or suppress I. sexdentatus infestations. Semio-chemicals are used to monitor I. sexdentatus populations (Lozzia, 1995).


Specific economic loss is not known for I. sexdentatus. However, approximately 1 million Picea orientalis trees were lost due to sporadic I. sexdentatus infestations in Turkey (Schimitschek, 1939; Besceli and Elici, 1969; Schonherr et al., 1983).