As the name implies, this is one of those exotic insect pests that came into the United States from Northern Europe around 1915. The species, Plagiodera versicolora, is now established throughout the eastern half of the country.

Imported willow leaf beetles are relatively small critters usually less than 1/4 inch in length with shiny, metallic blue-green shells. Both the larvae and adult beetle feed on willows and poplars.

Like many beetles, the key sign is the damage they do by eating he leaves. Often this results in a "skeletonized" effect but they also do a lot of chewing on the edges of the leaves. In severe infestations, they can make the leaves look pretty "ratty".

From the tree's standpoint, these insects are mostly a nuisance. The primary problem is one of aesthetics in that the leaves can look bad as the summer progresses.

Therefore, it is only warranted to spray or otherwise treat this problem is you have a specimen tree near the house or over a pond where aesthetics are important to you. The tree does not care.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

"Name That Bug Page"

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

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