Vine weevil

Posted: Wednesday 7 August 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

My last garden was free of vine weevil for eight blissful years. Prior to that, the evil weevils destroyed my poor plants’ roots.

vine weevil

My last garden was free of vine weevil for eight blissful years. Prior to that, the evil weevils destroyed my poor plants’ roots. The victims were usually primulas or alpines.  

When we moved to our current home, we brought some plants with us. Among them was a sizeable Magnolia stellata from my sister, lifted with the aid of a mini-excavator. We checked every plant carefully prior to moving - or thought we had - determined that no dreaded vine weevils would come with us. I knew from experience that, all vine weevils being female, a single adult or grub can wreak havoc.  

However, the eggs themselves are too small to see. Soon, I spotted the telltale neat notching around the edges of lower leaves on shrubs: a sign of adult weevils. To my dismay, I also noticed some root nibbling (the work of plump, creamy coloured, ginger-headed, c-shaped grubs). Adult weevils can’t fly, which means they must have arrived with us.

So, at this time of year, I'm spending my evenings squidging adult weevils. I’m also busy drenching all weevil-prone plants (especially those in pots) with biocontrol nematodes, which kill any grubs hidden in the compost.

So far, my improved vigilance - not to mention the nematodes - means I’m gaining ground in my war against weevils. What tactics do you suggest?

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kaycurtis 09/08/2013 at 04:51

I just hope the birds get some of them but always wise to check the roots of every plant even from the garden centre as they are not adverse to any plant and hide on shrubs, I brought it into my garden with an Acer that I purchased from a good garden centre, in no time was reeking havoc through my garden. I haven't grown Lilies this year because of the red demon the Lily beetle, if you want to pass plants around friends and family good idea to give them cuttings instead of pots that maybe hiding the evils of the garden.

Verdun 09/08/2013 at 08:56

Very true kaycurtis.  I check the pots and roots as best I can but it's difficult without breaking up the rootball.  The new peat free composts seem to attract vine weevils.  Plants that are vulnerable.....for me....include Heucheras, primulas, fuschias and host plants seem to be euonymous.  I treat soil around both vulnerable and host plants twice a year

Susan 17 28/08/2013 at 08:13

In my limited experience I thought it was only the containers they attacked. Do they also thrive in the garden.

Verdun 28/08/2013 at 08:35

Oh yes Susan.  Vine weevils are in the garden too......they love Heucheras, primulas, fuschias, etc.  I use nematodes or Provado in autumn and in spring. ,

ginger3 28/08/2013 at 09:16

can i confirm what plants look like when attacked by vine weevils my calandulas and some other plants have holes all over the lieves and dont look healthy i have bought Provado just this week but feel very guilty at using it.

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