Want to learn more about plants?
Explore our easy-to-read educational Blog
Signs of damage
These weevils are pests of over 100 plants, ranging from weeds to shrubs to greenhouse plants. Some of the common host plants in Maryland include azalea, holly, strawberry, rhododendron, yew, and grape.
When weevils are present in low numbers only a few notches on the edges of leaves will be apparent. If many weevils are present, the leaves are often scalloped and left with only the main vein.
The grubs are highly destructive to plants. When small, grubs consume feeder roots. Larger grubs feed on larger roots, stripping the bark and sometimes girdling the plant crown. This blocks the flow of water and nutrients to the foliage.
Infested plants have stunted growth; leaves turn yellow and then wilt.
How to prevent
1 Quarantine or dispose of any soil from pots where vine weevil have been found. Don't reuse this or throw on the garden because it may still contain vine weevil eggs, larvae or pupae.
2Remove plants that have unexplainably wilted and died and examine the roots. If they appear eaten, then search the surrounding soil and destroy any vine weevil larvae that you find.
3 Look for leaf edge notching on garden plants to indicate where adult vine weevils are feeding. Then treat the surrounding soil with nematodes during the summer months to control any larvae that appear.
4 Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides which will kill soil-dwelling predators of vine weevil larvae, such as centipedes and carab beetles.
5 Encourage insectivorous birds by hanging feeders in winter and provide nesting boxes in spring.
- Check plants every week to prevent weevil infestations becoming out of control and deal with early signs immediately.
- Remove and destroy newly-hatched adults to reduce the numbers of eggs laid in the soil. This is best done at night, with a torch, when the weevils are most active.
- Use netting and fleeces to stop adults moving between plants and laying eggs within pots.
-Replant perennial pot plants in the spring and look for and remove any vine weevil larvae you find.
- Use commercially available nematodes (microscopic worm-like creatures) Steinernema kraussei and Heterorhabditis megidis that can be watered into pots or surrounding soil to control vine weevil larvae. The nematodes seek out and kill vine weevils.
- BotaniGard ES is a highly effective biological insecticide containing Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus that attacks a long-list of troublesome pests – even resistant strains! Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions and provide protection equal to or better than conventional chemical pesticides.
- Fast-acting crack and crevice sprays, like Don’t Bug Me, can be used around windows, doors and vents to prevent adult weevils from entering structures.
- Least-toxic botanical insecticides should be used as a last resort. Derived from plants which have insecticidal properties, these natural pesticides have fewer harmful side effects than synthetic chemicals and break down more quickly in the environment.
Go Premium to continue reading
Also you’ll get unlimited access to disease identification and all the other beneficial features