Viburnum: Viburnum leaf beetle

categories: Ornamentals Shrubs Viburnum Viburnum Insects

revision date: 2022-12-04 12:00

Viburnum leaf beetle larvae and damage.
Viburnum leaf beetle larvae and damage
Photo by: T. Murray


Viburnum leaf beetles overwinter as eggs on the previous year’s new stems. Larvae hatch in spring and begin to feed on the new viburnum leaves. Larvae are pale yellow to pale green with black dots and are about 1/4 inch long when mature. Larvae crawl down the stems of the bushes to pupate in the soil in June. Adults emerge in July and feed again on the foliage. Adults are bronze colored beetles about 1/4 inch long. Both the larvae and adults eat holes in leaves, leaving only the leaf veins. High populations can defoliate bushes twice in one year. Multiple years of feeding can kill some bushes.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Prune out egg infested twigs during winter months.
  • Hand-pick and kill emerging larvae.
  • Apply sticky barrier on the trunk to trap and kill mature larvae as they migrate down the bush.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Larvae should be managed just after egg hatch.
  • Time insecticide treatment to target young larvae.
  • An additional treatment may be needed.
  • Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall.
  • Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.

Additional Images