Small tan and brown beetles all over apple tree leaves

Asked May 7, 2020, 10:51 PM EDT

There are many small tan and brown beetles all over my apple tree leaves. Some of the leaves are curling. Any idea what these bugs are (photos attached) and what action I should take if any?

Washington County Oregon

3 Responses

Lucky you!
Those small beetles appear to ladybugs (Psyllobora vigintimaculata) which specialize in eating powdery mildew from leaves. The sad part of this story is that they don't eat enough to get rid of the problem.

That said, the newest leaves appear to be fine. The distorted small leaves developed first and were affected by something, either the mildew or aphids. It's very likely that both of those things are currently inactive.

If you unfurl several of the distorted leaves, you may find the aphids; if so, squish them. Or, you may see black debris from dead aphids; if so, do nothing.

Bottom Line: No need to do anything other than return the beetles to the tree - if they're still alive.

Thanks! I'm not used to tan and black lady bugs. I put every single one back out on that apple tree. Grateful they're out there working for me.
Thanks for your expertise!