Elm Leaf Beetle.
Elm Leaf Beetle is a Serious Pest
Xanthogaleruca luteola, the Elm Leaf Beetle (ELB) is has recently become a serious pest within the Greater Adelaide metropolitan area and some regional townships; unfortunately for South Australia’s ageing Elm population this small beetle poses great risk to the longevity and sustainability of Elm trees in our city.
Elm Leaf Beetle Larvae
Both the beetles and larvae feed on the emergent leaves of the elm and other members of the Ulmus genus including Zelkova. Repeated heavy infestation has the potential to kill the tree if not treated. More often the infestation, other than leaving the tree unsightly and minimising the valuable shade Elm trees often provide, rather weaken the tree over a period of time rendering it vulnerable to secondary issues such as attack by other insects and diseases.
Elm Leaf Beetle Biological Control
Research for a biological control is currently underway, however currently the Elm Leaf Beetle has very few natural predators and as a result the best method for treatment is with a pesticide. The most effective and commonly used treatment is the application of a systemic pesticide, Imidicloprid, from the neonicotinide group. This pesticide also commonly used for the control pests on family pets. With trees there are two main methods for treatment; soil drenching and trunk injection. Please contact Tree Technique for a cost effective quote for treatment.
Elm Leaf Beetle Appearance
Elm Beetles are roughly 6mm long, yellowish to olive green with a striped back. Their eggs are 4-6mm long and bright orange-yellow. Larvae are generally 10-11mm long, green to orange, black head and two black stripes on the back.
Elm Leaf Beetle Damage
The evidence of your tree been affected by elm beetle is very easy to ascertain in October to December when new foliage has appeared and the pest is in its first cycle of the season. Othe rtha idientifying the pest itself, the damge inflicated on the tre is quite obvious. Adult beetles cause small shot holes in the leaves ranging to 1mm in diameter then lay eggs. Upon hatching the lavae then skeletonise the leaf between the leaf veins.
Elm Leaf Beetle Breeding Cycle
More recently we have seen the beetle successfully achieve three full breeding cycles in the Adelaide Metropolitan area. Our team successful treat and control the infestation on many private and council trees across the region.