Introduced Pests Outreach Project
PEST ALERT: Viburnum leaf beetle (June 15, 2004)

Viburnum leaf beetle has been found for the first time in Massachusetts. In 1996 the viburnum leaf beetle was seen for the first time in the United States along Lake Ontario in New York. Bob Childs and Ron Kujawski discovered an infestation of viburnum leaf beetle this spring on two viburnum bushes in Great Barrington in Berkshire County. An eradication effort is underway.

Viburnum leaf beetle only attacks viburnum bushes. The most susceptible species are arrowwood viburnums (V. dentatum complex), European cranberrybush viburnum (V. opulus), American cranberrybush viburnum (V. opulus var. americana), Rafinesque viburnum (V. rafinesquianum), and Sargent viburnum (V. sargentii).

Look for larval feeding damage on plants right now. Larva feed from early May to mid-June leaving “skeletonized” leaves. In late June adults will emerge and begin feeding on leaves creating irregular circular to elliptical holes. Adults will continue feeding until leaf drop in the fall. Female adults begin to lay eggs in July. The egg-laying sites are small, brownish-black bumps 1-2mm in diameter along the plant stems. Look for egg-laying sites from July through May.

For more information and to view pictures of the viburnum leaf beetle, please visit If you have seen the viburnum leaf beetle, you can report it on the web at

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.