MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The viburnum leaf beetle, an invasive insect native to Europe, has been found for the first time in Minnesota.

An Eden Prairie resident found an insect feeding on arrowwood viburnum leaves. After reporting to find to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in June, the United States Department of Agriculture determined the insect was the viburnum leaf beetle.

“Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the ease at which invasive insects, plants, and diseases can quickly spread throughout the U.S. and the world,” said Angie Ambourn, supervisor of the MDA’s pest detection unit.

The beetle is currently found in the northeastern United States and Wisconsin. It feeds only on species of viburnum and can weaken and eventually kill the plant through defoliation. It chews holes in leaves in a pattern similar to Japanese beetles.

(credit: Minnesota Department Of Agriculture)

Viburnum leaf beetle larvae are yellow to light brown with black spots and dashes. Adults lay eggs along twigs in egg pits that are easily detectable.

According to the MDA, homeowners can limit the spread of the beetle by selecting viburnum species resistant to the insect and pruning and destroying infested twigs.

To report suspected beetles to the MDA:

  • Send in photos, location and other information by emailing the.pest@state.mn.us or calling 1-888-545-6684
  • Report finds to EddMaps
  • Use the Great Lakes Early Detection Network app for Android and IOS

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