Elm Leaf Beetles

Adult Elm Leaf Beetles are small at only ½ inch long. They can be solid black or black and yellow in color. The larvae are small (¼ inch long) and are brown and black. The feed on many species of elm trees and may seek shelter indoors.


The larvae feed on the surface leaves, leaving small holes that give the leaves a lacy, skeletonized appearance. Adults beetles eat through the leaf surface, leaving small holes. An elm tree with a severe infestation of larvae can develop brown leaves, giving the tree a scorched or burnt appearance. Elm trees can drop all their foliage, greatly weakening them.


Elm Leaf Beetles are found throughout the United States.

Cultural Solutions

  • Place a band of sticky material such as Tanglefoot around the base of the tree trunk may be helpful in catching larvae.
  • Consider planting resistant species such as Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia).