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Garden Pests... Vine Weevil

These insects can be a real destructive pest in the garden and affect a wide range of plants especially plants grown in pots and containers. The adult vine weevil is around 1cm long and is a dull black colour with light patches on its back they are nocturnal pests feeding at night on the foliage of plants leaving irregular shaped notches in leaves but it is the larvae that causes the most damage and usually the first sign of trouble is when a plant suddenly wilts or dies. Check the affected plant or soil for the small grubs.

Vineweevil

The adult beetle is active from March until June depending on the temperature for plants grown indoors for example the larvae will hatch and the weevil will emerge early in the year. It can produce up 1500 eggs after mating which they lay around the soil of a plant, these hatch after 15 days in to creamy white c shaped grubs with tiny brown heads these feed on the roots of the plant burying itself deep during winter munching on roots getting ready to hatch out in spring to start the cycle again.

There are chemical controls available Bayers vine weevil killer with the active ingredient been Thiacloprid and Scott's bug clear with the active ingredient Acetamiprid both of these are a systemic control which means the leaves are sprayed poisoning the adult when it eats the foliage the chemical is then taken down to the plants root.

As with all garden pests encouraging wildlife into the garden will help eradicate the adult weevil, birds, frogs, hedgehogs and ground beetles will all eat these pests. These nocturnal insects can be picked off the plants at night this does require checking the plants on a regular basis after dark with a torch or shake the shrubs over an upturned umbrella collecting any beetles and destroying them. They can also be trapped by applying a sticky barrier around pots and containers.

There are two biological controls available which are put into a watering can and used to drench the soil or compost Steinmema Kraussei or Heerorhabditis Megidis these are used from late summer and kill the larvae.

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"A destructive garden pest that makes irregular holes in leaves, the larvae eats the roots of plants causing them to wilt and die"