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Invasive viburnum leaf beetle makes its way into the metro

The viburnum leaf beetle Photo: courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture
The viburnum leaf beetle

Updated: July 25, 2019 12:51 PM

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is warning metro area residents of an invasive beetle first noticed in Eden Prairie in June.

According to the MDA, an Eden Prairie resident saw the invasive insect eating arrowwood viburnum leaves and reported the sighting to the department.

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Members of the MDA inspected the area, collected samples for analysis and determined the insect is the viburnum leaf beetle.

The MDA stated the beetle is native to Europe and can defoliate viburnum plant species, which eventually causes the plants to die.

"The insect was able to somehow hitch a ride from outside Minnesota and find its way to the Twin Cities metro area," Angie Ambourn, supervisor of the MDA's Pest Detection Unit, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the ease at which invasive insects, plants and diseases can quickly spread throughout the U.S. and the world."

When landscaping, the MDA advises residents to select viburnum plants that are resistant to the beetle. Pruning and destroying affected twigs are also effective control measures.

Those who want to report suspected sightings of the beetle can do so by:

  • Sending in photos, the location and other information via Arrest the Pest
  • Reporting findings to EddMaps
  • Using the Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN) app for Android or iPhone to send in information

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Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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