Oddly, in its native range in Arizona this beetle is not a pest problem, but since its 2004 discovery in southern California is has killed over 80,000 oak trees (by 2012) in San Diego County, CA. It attacks a number of different species of native and important California oak trees. Adults are active in late spring to early summer when the female deposits eggs into crevices in the bark of the tree. The larvae then bore through the bark and live within the phloem (water conducting) tissues in the cambium.
No effective controls yet exist to manage the spread and destruction of this beetle. Control is difficult once the larvae are feeding within the tree, but they may be killed by systemic insecticides injected into the trunk. Adult beetles may be killed if contact insecticides can be applied to the trunk timed to the first presence of the adult beetles. Healthy trees are generally able to withstand the presence of some of the larvae, so good tree health is important.