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Elm Leaf Beetle Control

The elm leaf beetle can wreak havoc on trees which it infests.  There are some important points to consider before deciding on which control measures are best for you - or if you should attempt control.

Control Methods    Products Used to Control Elm Leaf Beetles

Return to Elm Leaf Beetle information page.     Pictures of Elm Leaf Beetles  

In neighborhoods where the infestation of this beetle is widespread, there should be a combined effort in the area to maximize the control effects.  In other words, if you are the only one treating for these pests, your results will probably be minimal.

There are two schools of thought, when it comes to spraying for the Elm Leaf Beetle.  Many people prefer to spray the trunk of infested trees, which does not affect larvae which have already done their damage.  This type of spraying is easier than foliage spraying.  Foliage spraying is most effective but should not be attempted unless you have confidence in your ability to reach and treat all foliage, killing as many beetle larvae as possible.
The second option (foliage spraying) is the obvious top choice because (a) offending pests are killed before too much damage is done (when spraying is timed correctly) and (b) a wider variety of products is available.  There are other pros and cons to the treatment methods.  When in doubt, use both.  Safety first!  If you cannot treat the tree or trees in a safe manner, minimizing risk to people, pets and environment, it would be best to leave the job to a professional.

Products Used to Control Elm Leaf Beetles

When found indoors, simply using your vacuum to dispose of a few invading beetles usually does the trick.  If needed, however, there are a couple of professional aerosols that can be used to treat cracks and crevices: CB Airdevil and CB Invader.

Outdoors, you can choose to spray foliage, tree trunk or both.  Best results are achieved when foliage spraying is properly timed.  There are two basic types of insecticides that can be sprayed for Elm Leaf Beetle control: contact and systemic.
Systemic insecticides (if used before Elm Leaf Beetle larvae populations get out of control) can be very effective.  The main thing to consider before using a systemic insecticide is length of time from application to pests being killed by the product.  A systemic insecticide is taken up by the plant and carried throughout the plant's system, working from the inside out.  Also, the best systemic insecticide that is labeled for controlling Elm Leaf Beetles is Acephate (sometimes called Orthene), an insecticide with a very distinctive, unpleasant odor.  More about Acephate in control summary.
There are several contact pesticides labeled for spraying ornamentals or trees for pests such as the elm leaf beetle: Suspend SC, Talstar One, Demon Max and Dragnet (professional strength Permethrin) just to name a few.  Suspend SC, Talstar One and Dragnet are odorless or super low odor.  Demon Max is low odor.

Outdoor Control of Elm Leaf Beetle Summary

Orthene (Acephate)  is a systemic spray that has an odor that many people consider offensive; this product is very economical to use.  Slow to start but gives good control.
Talstar One is the most popular of odorless contact sprays for outdoor ornamental spraying.
If you intend to use your insecticide for indoor and outdoor use, Suspend SC or Dragnet will be your best choice.

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Elm Leaf Beetle    Pictures of Beetles    Elm Leaf Beetle Control