Over the weekend, I caught up on the Chicato Botanic Garden’s blog. Another great resource of up to date information. Their most recent post was in regards to the viburnum leaf beetle that has been working its way across the states. A couple years ago it arrived in the Chicago suburbs and a few days ago they found the beetle in two separate locations in the gardens.
In both instances they were found on the arrowwood viburnums, which seems to be their preferred food source (at the moment, at least). The beetles bore into the branches to lay eggs and then feed off the leaves, defoliating the plant in the process. Over a span of 2-3 years, a heavy infestation can kill the plant.
As if the Japanese beetle and the emerald ash borer weren’t enough to contend with, we now have to worry about the viburnum leaf beetle. For now, the easiest way for a homeowner an infestation is by getting a bucket of soapy water and tapping the branches to let the beetles fall into the bucket. Not a very glamorous solution and it won’t prevent them from situating themselves in your garden, but it’s an effective method of dealing with any current issue. In late winter or early spring, examine young branches for egg sites (areas that seem to swell). Prune out and destroy the branches.
If you are interested in more information on the viburnum leaf beetle, you can check out the Chicago Botanic Garden’s website (Link: http://my.chicagobotanic.org/news/pest-alert-viburnum-leaf-beetle/), Penn State College of Agricultural Science’s website (Link: http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/viburnum-leaf-beetle), and
Cornell University’s website (Link: http://www.hort.cornell.edu/vlb/)