Vine weevils are members of the beetle family. There are many species of vine weevils but all are tiny (1-1.5cm) and are hard shelled. They range in colour from brown, gray and black.
Adult vine weevil (left), Black vine weevil-S. Fitzpatrick (R)
They all have a long snout. In fact there are many different species of weevils put together so I thought I’d group them by types. Larvae are very tiny at first, cream coloured with brown heads and are usually found in a ‘c’ shape.
larvae (left)-L. Vasuary, Rutgers University, Lifecycle (right)-North Carolina University
Habitat and Lifecycle
These are found throughout North America and are an awful pest in the hotter regions. They overwinter in the grub stage in the soil. In the spring they wake up when the soil warms and they begin to feed. When they are fully grown they burrow deeper in the soil and pupate. The adults hatch in 2-3 weeks. Adults lay their eggs near the base of the host plants late summer and the cycle continues until the weather becomes cooler.
Vine weevil damage on camelia-K. Peper
Diet and Damage
Berry crops, cane fruits, grapes, plants in pots, ornamentals and many other leafy crops. Beware of some soil mixtures bought from nurseries. Check the soil thoroughly before using. Check the roots of plants you buy for signs of vine weevils. Adults are nocturnal and feed on the leaves making large notch like holes. The grubs live in the soil and feed on roots of host plants and cause the leaves of the plants to turn brown. Plants will eventually die from severe infestation of grubs.
1) Sticky traps
Shake affected plants lightly and the beetles will fall to ground where you have placed your traps. Destroy the pest immediately.
2) Hand Pick
Dig lightly around the soil if you see vine weevils and pick out the small grubs. Drop them in hot soapy water.
3) Clean up Garden Debris
Vine weevils hide in garden debris during the day so it is a good idea to keep your garden clean.
Bt used correctly will kill the grubs in the soil.
Plant garlic near strawberries and other susceptible plants. The odour should repel them.