This damaging beetle is found throughout the eastern half of Canada and the U.S., west to Colorado. The larvae live in the soil feeding on roots of many kinds of plants, but do little damage themselves. The last stage larva overwinters and pupates in early spring with adults following a few weeks later. The adult beetles live for over a month, feeding on a wide variety of fruit, flowers, and foliage. The may be present in huge numbers on a plant, sometimes over 100 adult beetles, and their combined feeding will skeletonize leaves, leading to loss of vigor to the plant. The beetles are known to contain toxic substances that make them poisonous to birds that eat them.
Control will be aimed primarily at the adult beetles using contact insecticides applied when the beetles are present on ornamental plants. Small numbers of the adults are easily removed from plants by hand and killed and disposed of.