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Viburnum Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni)
Viburnum leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) has been identified as a CAPS Eastern Region primary pest. The insect has been found in New York, Pennsylvania, and in 2002 was found in Ashtabula county, Ohio. Since then in 2005 it has also been found in Lake, Summit and Mahoning counties on native and ornamental plantings of Viburnum opulus (cranberrybush viburnum) and V. dentatum (arrowwood viburnum), and in 2006 in Medina and Lorain counties on V. opulus and V. dentatum. Viburnum leaf beetle causes extensive damage to viburnums and, where established, can completely defoliate the plants. Given Ohio's large nursery industry that ships large numbers of viburnums throughout the country, as well as the popularity of Viburnum in the landscape, early detection may help to retard this insect's spread. Since Viburnum leaf beetle was detected in three additional Ohio counties during the 2005 survey season, two additional counties in 2006, one additional county in 2007 (Cuyahoga), and one additional county in 2008 (Trumbull) surveys for this pest continue in order to delimit the extent of its establishment in the state.
If you suspect you have found viburnum leaf beetle contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture Plant Pest Control Section.
Update on VLB: VLB was detected in Erie county in 2010. This is a new county record for this pest.