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The Vine weevil is a very damaging pest to many ornamental plants and to other fruiting plants, such as Strawberries. The most common species in the UK is the Black Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus). All the adults are female, and eggs are laid in clusters on, or in, the soil at the plant base. The eggs develop into larvae before turning into a pupae, from which the adult emerges. Vine Weevil overwinter as larvae but can sometimes overwinter as adults in mild conditions. The larvae will become active in the spring when the soil or compost warms up. The larvae have a white body and a brown head.
It is the larval stage of the Vine Weevil that is especially damaging to plants. The larvae feed on plant roots and can cause considerable damage, often so severely that plants, such as Strawberries and bedding plants, may be killed. Adults will also feed on plant leaves, leaving a distinctive half moon cut shape on the leaf edges. This damage is largely cosmetic and the lethal damage is carried out by the feeding of the Vine Weevil larvae.
Biological control of Vine Weevil is possible with the application of our Vine Weevil Killer Nematodes. For outdoor infestations, Vine Weevil larvae should be treated first in the spring, from March to May. Soil temperatures for spring applications should be above 6-8° to ensure nematode activity. A second application may be required in the late summer, from August to October. Plants grown in heated greenhouses may be vulnerable to Vine Weevil larvae activity all year round, and can be treated with nematodes at any time infestations are apparent. Nematodes provide a safe, natural, and chemical free method of controlling the Vine Weevil larvae. Find our range of relevant products below.