By Alicia Alexander, IPM Intern
The Elm leaf beetle is an introduced species that is a pest of elm trees. Adult beetles are about ¼ inch long and are yellow to olive green in color. Black stripes are found along the outer edge of the wing covers and with black spots on the thorax. Larvae that are full-grown are usually about ½ inch long and dull yellow with scattered black bristles and 2 black stripes.
Elm leaf beetles are destructive to the elm trees in both larval and adult form. Larvae often feed on the leaves of the tree by consuming the underside of the leaf and avoiding the upper leaf surface and large veins. Adult beetles leave small holes in the leaves when feeding on the elm. The damage caused by the elm leaf beetle may cause leaves to drop prematurely and may weaken the tree making it susceptible to disease and other pest. The elm leaf beetle does not transmit Dutch elm disease.
Elm leaf beetles are not harmful to humans or animals. Elm leaf beetles may take shelter in homes when searching for protected overwintering sites but do not feed, reproduce, or cause damage indoors.