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Species Page

large elm bark beetle

Scolytus scolytus
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
Ulmus (elms)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus glabra (mountain elm)
Ulmus hollandica (hybrid elm)
Ulmus laevis (Russian white elm)
Ulmus minor (European field elm)
Ulmus procera (english elm)
Ulmus pumila (dwarf elm)

List of symptoms / signs

Growing point - dieback
Growing point - internal feeding; boring
Growing point - lesions
Growing point - wilt
Leaves - abnormal colours
Leaves - yellowed or dead
Stems - internal feeding
Stems - mycelium present
Stems - visible frass
Whole plant - frass visible
Whole plant - internal feeding
Whole plant - plant dead; dieback


Attacked trees are easily identifiable. The whole crown becomes progressively yellow, reddish and finally brown, and leaves then start to fall. This whole process takes a few weeks, especially for trees attacked during the spring by the first generation of the pest. Elms colonized at the end of the summer by the second generation show the dying symptoms starting from the next spring. Maturation feeding carried out on elm twigs causes minor damage characteristic of all Scolytus species but not easy to check.

Prevention and control


Control strategies are aimed at reducing the population density of S. scolytus below an economic threshold. Several control methods can be listed. The action, advantages and restrictions of the various methods are discussed in the following sections.

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


In the twentieth century the association between Dutch Elm Disease and elm bark beetles (including S. scolytus) caused the disappearance of elms in almost all European towns. In addition, wood attacked by scolytids and colonized by the fungus loses its mechanical, physical and aesthetic characteristics, with serious consequences for commercialization. In this respect, S. scolytus causes both tree death and wood loss.