There are several types of insects that fit your description, some harmful and so me not. They might not be related to the dieback.
I suggest that you contact a local International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist to check the tree and help you diagnose the real problem. Bronze Birch Borers are a common pest, and are seldom seen since they tunnel under the bark. They often cause dieback of branches or even the death of the trees. Go to www.isa-arbor.org to find a certified arborist in your area.
Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
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