The elm leaf beetle is a pest which poses some danger to the elm tree.
Adult beetles are approximately ¼ inch long. Their colour fades from yellow to olive as they mature. They have black stripes on the wing covers and four black spots on the thorax. The
larvae are about 1/2 inch long and a dull yellow colour.
The adults lay eggs on the underside of elm leaves in late May and early June. After they hatch, the larvae begin feeding on the flesh of the leaf, leaving only the veins intact. About three weeks later, the adults
emerge and chew small holes in the leaves.
A tree can survive an infestation of elm leaf beetles. However, its weakened state will make it more susceptible to other diseases such as Dutch elm disease.
Birds, toads and other insects are natural enemies of the elm leaf beetle. There are also a number of effective pesticides.
As many chemical pesticides can be poisonous, care should be taken to read the label before use.