Must have guide to Vine Weevil and how to get rid of them

What are Vine Weevil?

Adult Vine Weevils are black beetles about 8mm long narrower at the front than the back.  If you see bitten edges around the leaves of your plants, then suspect vine weevil. They are rarely seen in the daytime.

The larvae are grubs which feast on plant roots, often completely severing them from the upper stems. They have a soft creamy-white body, up to 1.5 cm long and brown heads. They often lie in a sort of "C" shape.  The damage caused by the adults is unsightly, but the grubs can cause the plant to die.

What does vine weevil damage look like?  The symptoms

When it comes to pest that eat leaves, the most common culprits have a very distinctive differences.  Slugs and snails eat holes all over the leaf, leaving it looking like it have been attacked by a hole punch, and they leave a slimy trail.  Caterpillars strip leaves bare, they devour huge swathes of leaf material.  Vine weevil could be said to be making jigsaws out of leaves, they eat notches from the edge of the leaf as seen below.

Whilst the leaf damage is ugly the plant will not usually be weakened.  The larvae, on the other hand can kill plants.  They eat away at the roots until there is nothing left.  Initially the plant may just seem sickly but it will eventually keel over. 

Adult Vine Weevil

Adult vine weevil and eaten leaf



Vine Weevil Treatments

We sell two biological controls to tackle the two different stages of the pest.  Nematodes that get rid of the larvae and traps for the adults.  If you have vine weevil your best course of action is to treat the soil for the larvae.  If you get the larvae under control early in the season then the adults shouldn't bother you too much.  You can use these nematodes from when the soil reaches 5°C.  A treatment early and late in the season is essential but it is advisable to treat around every 6 weeks.

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