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Vine Weevil
The Vine Weevil is a pest of many garden plants. All vine weevils are female and each can lay up to 1,000 eggs during the summer. The larvae are stout, creamy white, legless grubs with brown heads; their bodies are slightly curved and up to 10mm long.

They feed on the roots of many plants and the tubers of plants such as cyclamen and begonia. Plants growing in pots, window boxes or other containers are particularly at risk and may be killed during autumn-spring.

The adult weevil is black with fused wing covers, and is unable to fly. Adults feed at night on the outer edges of leaves, causing the leaves to have a notched margin.

Otiorhynchus sulcatus by Opuntia - licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.
Vine Weevil - Otiorhynchus sulcatus
Vine weevil grub Adult vine weevil Leaf symptoms Leaf symptoms
Vine Weevil - Larvae Vine Weevil - Adult  Vine Weevil Damage
Grubs live below the soil surface, and feed on the roots of plants, shrubs and trees.

The grubs will attack the roots of almost any young plant in a container. They are especially fond of primulas and cyclamen. Plants in soil are less at risk.


Ground Beetle - Vine Weevil Confusion

Almost all ground beetles adults are carnivorous and eat all sorts of prey including slugs, snails, caterpillars, weevils, leaf beetles and all sorts of other plant pests. They are therefore very useful in gardens to keep down pest numbers. Be careful not to destroy this friend of the garden.

Know your enemy.............
By Neil Phillips on Flickr - © All Rights Reserved
Ground Beetle Vine Weevil
The ground beetle is larger, flatter and does not have a pointed head. The vine weevil is slightly smaller, pointed head, rounder body with speckled markings.

Vine Weevil vs Chafer Grub Identification

Chafer Grub/Larvae Vine Weevil Grub/Larvae
Chafer Grub Vine Weevil Larvae

Plants quickly turn yellow and wilt. Unfortunately, at this stage itís usually too late to save them. For an advance warning that vine weevils are about, look for notches bitten out of the sides of leaves by adult beetles.

Prevention & Control:

At night-time, take a torch into the garden and sprinkle a thick layer of grit around those plants at risk to deter egg-laying adults, and any grubs or adults that you see. (You can see them on the leaves with a torch!) To kill the grubs in containers, use biological control or apply a pesticide that contains Imidacloprid. (Cultural control; ensure you get rid of old compost in pots and baskets).

Organic Control

Natural Pest Control - Vine Weevil Natural Pest Control - Vine Weevil
Natural pest control products offer a safe and effective way of controlling pests for both edible and ornamental crops, without the use of toxic chemicals, making them ideal for the organic gardener. Treatments are suitable for use in both greenhouses and outdoors dependent on the pest and take the form of natural predators, parasites, bacteria or parasitic worms called nematodes, all of which occur naturally and are specific to the pests they are targeted against.
Full instructions supplied with each treatment.
Can be used on edible plants.
Small pack treats 12 sq. metres; Large pack treats 100 sq. metres.
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Biological Solution - Vine Weevil Killer Nematode Control
Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer
Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer effectively controls vine weevils with no risks to children, pets and wildlife. It controls vine weevil at the larvae stage when they are living in the soil and are at their most destructive.
Nemasys contains millions of nematodes, the natural enemies of vine weevil. Once applied by watering can they actively seek out and kill vine weevil larvae. Unlike other chemicals, this is effective against all larval stages.
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Chemical Control

Provado Vine Weevil Killer 2 Chemical control
Provado Vine Weevil Killer 2
A systemic insecticide that gives four months protection against vine weevil attack and 6 weeks protection against aphids and whitefly attack too. Use as a drench in all pot grown plants indoors and out, killing grubs in the soil on contact when you water it in. The chemical is also taken up by the roots in to the plant so killing any sap-sucking insect as soon as they attack the plant.
Not for use on root vegetables or edible plants.
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Black vine weeveil  (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) - © Can Stock Photo Inc. / zollster

Black vine weeveil  (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) - © Can Stock Photo Inc. / zollster

Vine Weevil Identification Video

Ground Beetle Identification Video


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