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Viburnum beetle can cause severe defoliation of some Viburnum species, especially V. tinus and V. opulus.
Viburnum beetle damage on guelder rose Viburnum opulus
Viburnum beetle can defoliate viburnums. Most of the damage is caused by the larvae in spring but some further damage is done by the adult beetles in late summer.
Heavy attacks can result in most of the foliage being severely damaged by late spring. Damaged leaves are often also discoloured with brown dried up edges to the holes created by the larvae and adult beetles. Viburnum tinus can be severely affected and this species when damaged by the beetle often produces an unpleasant smell particularly when the foliage is wet.
Larvae are normally too numerous to hand pick so attacks may have to be tolerated. Although plants can look tatty they usually survive even the most severe defoliation.
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
Viburnum beetle overwinters as eggs that are deposited in the bark of stems in late summer. These eggs hatch in late April-early May and the larvae begin feeding on the new foliage. When fully fed in late May-June, the larvae go into the soil to pupate. Adult beetles emerge in late summer and after mating, deposit batches of eggs in the woody stems.
Most of the damage is caused by the larvae during late spring. Adult feeding damage on the foliage is much less extensive than that of the larvae.
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