Latin name: Pyrrhalta viburni

Common name: Viburnum Leaf Beetle

Family: Coleoptera – beetles and weevils

Date/Location of specimen: September 2015 on client’s viburnum at Lake Mohawk

Description: Coleoptera (beetles and weevils) is the largest order in the class Insecta. As adults, most beetles have a hard, dense exoskeleton that covers and protects most of their body surface. The front wings, known as elytra, are just as hard as the rest of the exoskeleton. They fold down over the abdomen and serve as protective covers for the large, membranous hind wings. At rest, both elytra meet along the middle of the back, forming a straight line that is probably the most distinctive characteristics of the order. During flight, the elytra are held out to the sides of the body where they provide a certain amount of aerodynamic stability.

Pest/Disease & Gardening Limitations: Viburnum Leaf Beetle is a pest that attacks viburnum bushes. Heavy infestations by viburnum leaf beetle can defoliate shrubs, cause dieback, and eventually kill plants. Shrubs repeatedly defoliated over a period of two to three years are likely to die.

Control: The most effective means of control for small scale plantings is pruning and destroying infested twigs after egg laying has ceased in the fall, anytime from October to April. When pruning is not practical, a number of pesticides may be effective in controlling VLB.

Home gardeners may use acephate, carbaryl, cyfluthrin, imidacloprid, or malathion. Spray when larvae first appear in early May for best results. If damage from adults is excessive, a second application in mid- to late-summer may be helpful.

References:
1 http://ohioline.osu.edu/sc195/013.html

Collection Sample # 1 of 8 INSECTS

Master Gardener Class Horticulture Portfolio