Hello! I have just noticed a large infestation of small black beetles (?) on a pine tree in my garden. I have seen previous posts which suggested they might be cinara picea, although I am not sure of it. Does anyone know how this can be treated? Will it destroy the tree and could it spread? The beetles are all over the trunk, branches and plants at the base of the tree. I'd be very grateful for any advice. Thanks.
They probably are Cinara picea, which are aphids not beetles (Hemiptera: Aphidoidea (Lachninae)). I have been told in the past that they are usually associated with conifers that are already stressed but are not necessarily the cause of the stress themselves. You could simply brush off the masses that you are finding, but in my experience if you leave aphids wherever you find them untreated their natural predators usually find them too and clear them up in a week or two.
Hi! Thank your very much for the reply. They seem to have almost all died, perhaps due to the colder weather over the last couple of days. The pine tree had a clematis wrapped around it until recently and that might have weakened it.