Viburnum Leaf Beetle

(Question)

The VLB has virtually destroyed a small Viburnum bush in my garden. (I have now cut it down to within 6″ of the ground to try to get rid of the VLB.) My neighbour has been training a Virginia Creeper on our shared fence (it’s about 30 feet away from the viburnum) and it now has all the signs of VLB. Most of the leaves are skeletonized and a month or so ago there were tiny larvae on the undersides of the leaves, but I don’t find any “egg holes” in the tips of the branches. I note that the tips are soft and green, whereas the Viburnum twig tips are woody. I can’t find any info about this bug, or anything similar, attacking Virginia Creeper.
I’m in Zone 5, both plants have about half the day of sun. The area the Viburnum is in tends to be dry as it’s under an overhanging pine. Generally clay soil.

Should we cut the V. Creeper hard back to get rid of the infested material? Or – any other suggestions?

(Answer)

Thank you for your question to the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Based on the information you have provided, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what is attacking the Virginia Creeper.  I also do not find anything about the Viburnum Leaf Beetle munching on that plant.

The best way to eradicate the VLB is to prune the visible egg cases in November and the egg masses in May.

More details about dealing with VLB are available on our website.  Enter viburnum leaf in the search box on the home page of our website, www.torontomastergardeners.ca. The result will be a list of articles written in response to questions such as yours.  Click the live green titles to expand to the full articles.  As one of the articles states, be sure to follow the OMAFRA (Ontario govt) guidelines.

An excellent guide to the identification of VLB is https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/beetles/viburnum_leaf_beetle.htm

All the best in your gardening endeavours.