Elm Leaf Beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola) Identification


Elm Leaf Beetles love to hang out in attics, brush piles and any dark corners and crevices of your home. While they aren’t harmful or destructive inside the house, they can be a nuisance.They can also be destructive to trees. In fact, a colony of these beetles can quickly defoliate infested elm trees, its preferred source of food. The Elm Leaf Beetle, native to Europe and parts of Asia, was accidentally introduced to North America several decades ago. While the Elm Leaf Beetle has natural predators in Europe, it has none in America.

Elm Leaf Beetle Facts and Frequently Asked Questions

Common Name: Elm Leaf Beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola)

What do they look like? Elm Leaf Beetles are yellow to gold and olive to brown colored with a black stripe down the outer side of each wing. The adult beetle measures about ¼ inch in length. Their larvae are dull yellow with two black stripes down their backs.

Where are they commonly found? Elm Leaf Beetles are most commonly found in landscaped areas with elm trees. The beetles emerge in the late spring and lay their eggs in clusters on the underside of elm leaves. In summer, the adults emerge after pupating in the crevices in the bark of the elm tree. During fall, as temperatures cool, the adult Elm Leaf Beetles are attracted to buildings to find overwinter protection. Elm Leaf Beetles are found in attics, garages and any other area sheltered from cold weather until they emerge in spring.

Who commonly gets infested? During the late summer and fall months, Elm Leaf Beetles will move into residential and commercial structures, such as:

• Residential homes
• Multi-family structures
• Schools
• Food processing or food service facilities
• Day care facilities
• Medical care facilities

Why are they in my home or business? Elm Leaf Beetles are overwintering insects. They infest homes and businesses seeking warmth and protection during fall and winter.

When do they commonly infest? Elm Leaf Beetles infest homes and other buildings in late summer and fall in preparation for overwintering. They also infest elm trees in landscaped areas in the mid-to-late spring causing damage and defoliation through summer months.

Why should I treat for them? Getting rid of Elm Leaf Beetles, or any other bug, is best left to the professionals. Ridding your property of Elm Leaf Beetles takes special equipment and training. Elm Leaf Beetles feed on tree leaves and can completely defoliate a tree. Elm trees are frequently weakened, but seldom killed, by the symptoms of Elm Leaf Beetle larvae. The leaves damaged by Elm Leaf Beetles will display symptoms of a lacy-like pattern on the underside of the leaves. While these beetles are particularly fond of elms, hence the name, they can feed on most deciduous trees.

How Are They Treated? You need to perform the proper treatment at the right time to prevent Elm Leaf Beetles from destroying the trees that you are trying to protect. Equally, you want to make sure that you gain control of the entire Elm Leaf Beetle population, so they don’t stick around through every season.

SEE Pest and Lawn Solutions has experienced technicians that are knowledgeable about where and when Elm Leaf Beetles can infest buildings and trees. We use chemical treatments that are completely safe for your family, pets and plants.