Viburnum Leaf Beetle

The Facts About Viburnum Leaf Beetle Management

What is the Viburnum Leaf Beetle?

viburnum leaf beetleThe viburnum leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) is an exotic leaf beetle native to Europe. The beetle feeds exclusively on many different types of viburnum. The species of viburnum most susceptible to infestation include:

  • European cranberry
  • Arrowwood
  • Rafinesque
  • Wayfaring tree
  • Nannyberry
  • Blackthorn
  • Chinese
  • Possumhaw,
    smooth witherod
  • Mapleleaf
  • Sargent
  • Wright


The viburnum leaf beetle lays its tiny brown eggs on the underside of twigs, typically in a straight row. The eggs are then covered with a hard “cap” made of dried mucus, excrement or chewed bark. The larvae are greenish-yellow. The adult beetle is brown and about ΒΌ” long.

In the United States, the viburnum leaf beetle has been found in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Ohio. The viburnum leaf beetle is a serious defoliator and has destroyed many landscapes in all these areas.

viburnum leaf beetle damageThe Problem

Viburnum leaf beetle larvae are voracious leaf eaters, feeding on the areas between the veins creating a “skeletonized” appearance. The adult beetle also causes damage by chewing elliptical holes in the leaves. The pests can completely defoliate a virbunum. Repeated defoliation stresses the shrub and can lead to its death within 2 – 3 years.


Signs of Viburnum Leaf Beetle Infestation

  • Skeletonized leaves in spring (May – June)
  • Larvae feeding on leaves, usually near empty egg-laying sites
  • Oblong “shot” holes in leaves
  • Small egg “caps” in straight rows on the undersides of terminal twigs (summer, fall and winter)

Viburnum Leaf Beetle Management and Prevention Options

Leaf damage To safeguard your susceptible shrubs, your best bet is to take preventative viburnum leaf beetle management measures. If you live in an area at risk for viburnum leaf beetles, SavATree can inspect, prune and destroy twigs with egg masses before the eggs have a chance to hatch.

For more information on viburnum leaf beetle management and treatment, contact us today for a complimentary consultation from our fully trained and certified arborists. Don’t let a viburnum leaf beetle infestation devastate your landscape. Save your trees and click here to find the office nearest you.