The viburnum leaf beetle, a native of Europe, was first found in North America in 1947 in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, Canada. In 1996, it was discovered in New York State in northern Cayuga County. VLB has continued to spread south and west through New York into Pennsylvania, and in 2002 was discovered in Ashtabula County, Ohio, where it appeared to have been established for at least two years based on egg scars from two different growing seasons.
VLB was found on both native plantings and ornamental plantings of arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum) and European cranberrybush (V. opulus) viburnums. In areas where large populations have developed, viburnum shrubs can be totally defoliated by larval and adult feeding.
Since Viburnum Leaf Beetles only destroy some Viburnum plants, one way to avoid the damage might be to replace your viburnums with another resistant plant. If this is not practical, you might consider signing up for our Tree and Shrub Healthcare Program and a special Viburnum Leaf Beetle suppression application.