Several leaf beetle species occur in the U.S.; only a few are pests in landscapes. Most adults are less
than 0.33 inch long, oval, blunt, and have threadlike antennae. The smallest species, flea beetles, are
metallic and often jump when disturbed. Larger species may be colorful or blend in with their host and
usually drop when disturbed.
Identification of species | Life
Beetles scrape the surface or chew holes in leaves. Leaves discolor and may drop prematurely.
High populations cover leaves with dark droppings and can skeletonize or defoliate entire plants. Plants
can become susceptible to other problems and even die. Larvae may feed on roots but do not seriously damage
established, woody plants.
Provide proper cultural care to keep plants
vigorous. Remove dead or dying branches. Consider replacing
problem trees with resistant
species. Insecticide treatments should not be required for
leaf beetles on decidous trees, except occasionally the elm
leaf beetle adult, larva and eggs
willow leaf beetle and eggs