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Vine
Weevils
weevil Vine
Weevils

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Vine Weevils are becoming more and more common, especially since we tend to garden more and more in pots nowadays. These of course provide 5 star hotel accomodation for the nasty beasties !

Sue Young wrote....
We have a small nursery and still get some vine weevil from time to time , though we control it with chemicals (Suscon Green and or Intercept) as well as going through each plant root system for evidence when repotting in spring. They do turn up in pots that we have not done anything with ,ie those not for sale, so I am very familiar with all stages of the dreaded vine weevil:,

vine weevil larva
The destructive vine weevil larva.

Eggs; 0.7 mm across opaque white and similar to slug/snail eggs Larva: creamy white fat grubs with orange head Pupa; white with white ledges half-way along- I can only describe them by saying they look like a vine weevil grub with a white dinner jacket on! This is possibly the most destructive stage as they nibble away at the roots of the plant and cause it to collapse completely.

When they hatch, the young adults are light brown and soft . They are very difficult to spot in soil Adults: Evil looking dark-spotted brown beetle

If you cannot get the chemicals or the Intercept compost (now in Garden Centres) going through the plant roots in April to May is the best time to spot then and squash them!.
Robert Puttnam added....
I watched the programme Gardeners World where Pippa Greenwood did a bit on these pests. Apparently the adults can't crossing water, so if you have a few plants - put them in a tray of water, then the adults can't get to the plant and lay its eggs. Also there is a sticky solution available which you put on the pot and the adult can't climb over without getting stuck. Alternatively one can always pick off the pests by hand and burn them. When detroying adult weevils, please don't confuse them with the ground beetle which is the gardener's friend (or one of them).

John Griffiths informed us that, "Latest press release on vine weevils is that Bio have produced a vine weevil control called Bio Provado Vine Weevil Killer. It seems that you water it onto compost in pots and containers and it will be effective for 6 months. Also effective against blackfly/whitefly/greenfly."

Transatlantic URGler, Rodger Whitlock from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada advises, "Closely inspect your garden for signs of weevils, especially near the greenhouse. Identify the plants they favor, then go out at night with a flashlight (urglish "torch") and hand-pick them. That weevil in your greenhouse was not the product of spontaneous generation, you know. It came from somewhere, and going after the source of the infestation is quite important. Handpicking will not eradicate the insect, but if done consistently will reduce their numbers significantly. You should also make the same after-dark tour of your greenhouse; you may have a seriously infested pot or two that you do not know about. Sometimes, the simplest thing is to stop growing plants especially favored by weevils."

Jill Bell found this info regarding Armillatox®, a multi-purpose product available from most Garden Centres.
"From the product leaflet:

"Preventative treatment for healthy plants. Dilution 500:1 The Vine weevil lays her eggs on the surface of the soil during mid- June, July and August. Every 14 days, apply a small amount of dilutes solution. sufficient to dampen the surface, to sterilise eggs and protect the plants from an attack next year.

Plants dying under attack Dilution 200:1 If the roots of the plant are under attack by the larvae, an immediate treatment is essential, at a stronger dilution rate. Make up the solution at the above rate in a large bucket and dunk the rootball of the plant into it. This of course will be stressful to the plant, which may result in some die-back, but the plant should recover. The left over solution can then be watered around the plants in open ground.

Although we at Armillatox have received sucessful stories from fuchsia growers nationwide, we are not legally allowed to advertise Armillatox for VW control.

However research and trials at a UK university have been ongoing for the past 15 months and are still ongoing."

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General info:

http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/factsheets/blakvine.html

  http://www.lib.uconn.edu/CANR/ces/ipm/homegrnd/htms/1bvwevl.htm

  http://www.laters.com/insects/weevils.htm

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Photo's at :

http://www.med-rz.uni-sb.de/med_fak/physiol2/camellia/pest/weevil.htm

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Nematode control

http://www.wisc.edu/entomology/mbcn/land510.html

Armillatox

http://www.armillatox.co.uk

Provado

http://www.phostrogen.com/Provado.html

Even more garden pests, diseases and weeds :

http://www.laters.com/pests.htm

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Vine Weevils and cactus:

http://www.desertcacti.com/common_problems/index.html

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FAQ originally compiled by JennyC on 17th April 1999 and updated September 1st 2001

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