WSU Extension


Common Insects & Mites
Asian lady beetle 
Bark beetles 
Brown marmorated stink bug 
Brown soft scale 
California gallfly 
Conifer aphids 
Cottony camellia scale 
Cutworms and loopers 
Eriophyid mites 
Exotic longhorned beetles 
Fall webworm 
Lecanium scale 
Oystershell scale 
Pamphilid sawflies 
Pear slug 
Root weevils 
Sapsucker damage 
Shothole borer 
Sowbugs, pillbugs, and millipedes 
Spider mites 
Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) 
Tent caterpillars 

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Caption: Shothole borer infestation holes
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Common Insects & Mites : Shothole borer
(revision date: 4/30/2013)

Shothole borer is one of several bark beetle species that attack trees in stress due to disease, injury, etc. It is a small, black, stout, but somewhat elongate, beetle. The larvae of these beetles mine in the cambium layer under the bark of alder, cherry, apple, plum, and many ornamental trees. The result is almost always death of the tree. Evidence of infestation includes rapid tree decline and pencil-lead-sized emergence holes in the trunk and major limbs.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Provide proper culture. Healthy trees are less likely to be attacked and more likely to survive infestations.
  • Prune out infested wood. Destroy prunings to reduce chances of reinfestation.
  • Whitewash trunks of young trees or purchase white plastic tree trunk wraps to prevent sunburn.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Burn prunings and keep trees in vigorous growing condition. Borer attack usually indicates trees are in an unhealthy condition. Direct trunk and limb sprays to infested and neighboring trees when adults are active (June-July, Sept-Oct) may be effective. Refer to the specific host plant for registered pesticides to manage shothole borers.


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Caption: Shothole borer infestation holes
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Bark beetle larval galleries
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Shothole borer hole
Photo by: K. Grey
Caption: Bark beetle (very similar to shothole borer)
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli