This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In Philadelphia we have two bad elm beetles, and probably a few more that are good for nothing. One seems to have been with the trees for many years, chiefly on the English species. There are noble trees in Germantown, planted before the Revolution, which drop all that is left of their leaves in July from the work of this little miscreant, but get a new crop of green leaves before the frost comes. These trees have thus suffered for nearly thirty years to the personal knowledge of the writer. Another species of beetle of later intro duetion, seems to prefer the American elms. They do not so completely skeletonize the leaves as do the others, and though the leaves are pretty well riddled, they do not usually fall as in the case with the European varieties. This beetle is easily seen, as it is as large as a grain of wheat. It falls to the ground on the slightest alarm, and lies motionless for some time as the curculio does. Mr. Charles H. Miller, landscape gardener at Fairmount Park, wrote to Prof. S. S. Rathvon about them recently, who replies in the Lancaster Farmer that the beetle is the Ga-leruca Xanthomalaena. It hibernates under cover in winter and has two broods, the latter the most destructive.
The larvae usually crawl down the trunk, or fall from the trees in July and August and pupate in the ground. From this it would seem probable that if hay-bands were placed round the trunks of the trees, as is done for the codling moth, large numbers might be caught and destroyed. Those which fell would of course escape, but perseverance for a few years would soon lessen their numbers materially.