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Vine weevil

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Summer damage caused by the adults on leaf margins resemble irregular notches. More serious damage is caused by the soil-dwelling larvae. Plants wilt and die during autumn to spring as a result of grubs devouring the roots. They also kill woody plants by gnawing away the outer tissues of the larger roots and stem bases.

Spot them

The adults 9mm long, are dull black beetles with a pear-shaped body. Adult weevils are best seen on foliage at night, as during the day they hide in dark places. They are slow moving insects that cannot fly but they are very persistent crawlers and climbers. Soil-dwelling larvae are plump, white, legless grubs up to 10mm long with pale brown heads.

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Vine weevil issue

Question from Monica

I discovered recently that the problem with the wilting leaves on my fatsia japonica was vine weevil. It has started on my photina but there are buds forming on that despite the fact leaves are wilting. I also had a virginia creeper and fuchsia in pots and found the larvae of this weevil in the soil. These are pots in a row. I have treated all of them and the two skimmias as well; these seem ok. My issue is what do I do with the treated soil. I have destroyed the fatsia, fuchia and virginia creeper. Someone told me not to reuse the treated soil-is this right??? Will be a problem to get rid of it. I am watching the photina (red robin) to see if it improves further before deciding to destroy it-as I say, there are buds on it despite the sad looking leaves. Advice please-especially on the treated soil part!!

  • Views: 843
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Wed. 30th March 2016 05:59
  • Last reply: Thu. 31st March 2016 12:29

Plants/grasses resistant to vine weevils & hardy in northern winds...?

Question from Yvonne

Hi, forgive me if this has been gone over and over again, but I'm new to the site and can't locate the answers I'm seeking.

Vine weevils have decimated the plants along the side and front of my house. I have chopped them down, tried to remove the habitat (bark/leaves/debris) but admittedly have more to do on that score.

Now, I have no intention of trying to control the weevils, I just want to make their lives intolerable and hungry so they go elsewhere. I've treated the area twice already with nemotodes, but gosh, it's such a big job and I'm unconvinced it's done any good.

The plan: remove the existing plants and top soil. Add shingle to the top of the soil and leave for a year (full life cycle of a weevil) then plant hardy grasses and hairy plants that I understand weevils dislike.

The questions:
1. do weevils really stay away from grasses?
2. what grasses can cope with a strong north easterly exposed area, clay stoney ground and sometimes boggy, sometimes moist surface? I'm looking at Stipa arundinacea, stipa lessingiana, elymus hispidus. What is the general thought?
3. the front of the house has/had shrubs. It is north facing and very exposed, again, the soil is a mix of clay, stones and some moisture. I would like something that will create a barrier between the house and road, has curb appeal but doesn't need much maintance (i.e. a yearly trim works). But what? I have pale bricks and have a more med feel with contained bamboo in the backgarden. With grasses at the side of the house I'm keen to avoid a traditional privet. The weevils are of course a problem too. I'm thinking: cv burfordi. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have read that weevils dislike photinia (red robins) but that is not true. The spot where I am looking to put grasses has photinia and they've been well chewed!

Advice gratefully received!


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  • Replies: 0
  • Posted: Thu. 2nd May 2013 10:08


Question from Avalon

planted in an open border. Relatively new plant and have noticed that there are semi circular notches that have been nibbled off some of the leaves - no holes in the middle.

Does this sound like vine weevil damage?

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  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Fri. 15th February 2013 15:38
  • Last reply: Fri. 15th February 2013 16:09

V W habit

Comment from Natalia

It's an awful problem. It lives in my heavy clay ground, not only in the pots. It eats my rhododendron, primulas, heucheras. It managed to keel my Japanese acer. I found the beetle a couple of times and a lots a lot of larvae. I've never found more details about V W habit. How long it takes for larvae to become a beetle? How long is the beetle's life? Does it start to lay its eggs immediately after the birth or it needs some time to mature? How resistant the pest is for weather, food and ground quality? Well it obviously prefers good compost, but doesn't mind my heavy clay apparently.
I made an experiment: I put 5 best larvae in a little jar with a bit of compost, some roots and a little moisture. I started in the middle of November. 2weeks later all were alive, 4 weeks later larvae were still moving I could see them through the bottom of the jar. They had just a tablespoon of compost with some roots inside! The most amazing was when in the middle of January the beetle was born. I could see it laying on its back moving its legs. It was light brown first about 0.5 cm big After that I lost the beetle inside the jar, I've never seen it again. I lost my interest to the experiment as well as I realised how great survivals they are. Only joy was that from 5 larvae 1 beetle appeared. I actually wonder what happened to the other 4? Maybe they were eaten? I still have my jar on the window. I think the beetle is living there. It changed its color and hiding itself daytime as they said to be nocturne. I gave it a rhododendron leave to enjoy, but the leave is safe so far.

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  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Sun. 10th February 2013 11:47
  • Last reply: Sun. 10th February 2013 21:21

Vine Weevil

Question from Martin Saul

I have a problem with vine weevil destroying my plants.
Any suggestions?



  • Views: 852
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Sat. 1st October 2011 15:26
  • Last reply: Mon. 3rd October 2011 03:06