CHICAGO - Small and rather ordinary-looking, the brown viburnum leaf beetle does not seem much of a threat. But this pest is suddenly creating big problems for Chicago-area home owners and gardeners.
The brown viburnum leaf beetle steadily chews large holes into the leaves of many types of viburnum, a hardy and extremely popular shrub that provides spring flowers, nice fall color, and a dense screen for privacy or to shield unsightly spots in a home landscape. If left unchecked, this pest will succeed in killing the plant.
The Morton Arboretum's Plant Clinic, which answers tree and plant-related questions from area homeowners, is fielding calls daily about this pest. In fact, the Plant Clinic has received 147 calls about it since the beginning of the year; we responded to only 32 beetle-related calls in all of 2016.
This shows us that homeowners are concerned and are looking for answers. Doris Taylor, the Plant Clinic Manager at The Morton Arboretum, stopped by ABC7 to show us what homeowners need to be on the look out for, and how to get rid of this pest.