The pine is an important tree species in China, while the pine wilt disease is a devastating disease of pine trees. Pine wood nematode (Bursaphelechus xylophilus Steiner & Buhere, 1934 Nickle, 1981) is a world recognized major alien species in the world. It’s from the United States, but pine wood nematode does not seriously endanger the pine in China; the most endangered place is Japan, after several decades of research and control, it has been basically able to control the occurrence of pine wilt disease. The spread trend of pine wilt disease in China grows more and more obvious, which has become an important intrusion pathogenic organism. It not only causes a devastating threats the million hectares pine forest in southern China, but also affects China’s economy and social sustainable development, what’s more, it will damage some of famous scenic spots and cultural heritage sites in China. Meanwhile, the pine wood nematode is a technical barrier, which seriously impacts on China’s import and export trade. The pathogen, pathogenesis, modes of transmission and means of distribution patterns, rapid detection and control methods of pine wilt disease are reviewed in this paper, and we hope that it can provide references for effective control of pine wilt disease in China.