Having worked hard to make your garden beautiful, the very last thing you want to see is all your work ruined by pests such as the evil vine weevil!
Our guide will tell you what to look out for and, most importantly, how to deal with this unwanted visitor!
Vine weevils have long been associated with container gardening, but these persistent pests are becoming more rampant and spreading to our glorious beds and borders. As is often the case, these pests are at their most dangerous in their underground grub stage – where you can’t see what they’re doing until it’s too late!
Vine weevils lay their white eggs in the roots of plants, where they’re very difficult to spot. The young vine weevils hatch into ‘C’ shaped grubs around 1cm long with brown heads and cream-coloured bodies. Unseen from prying eyes, they munch away at the plant’s root system until they’re discovered or until the plant yellows, wilts and collapses from lack of nourishment.
The adult vine weevil, a black/grey flightless beetle, is a different proposition. Eating at night, they generally don’t do much more damage than chomping leaf edges – the results of which aren’t attractive to look at, but at least they’re not life-threatening for the plants. The biggest problem with these adults is that they are all female, and their nocturnal nibbling gives them the energy they need to lay up to 1000 eggs in a season each – so ignore them at your peril!
The good news is that treatment is relatively straightforward, and following the steps below should enable you to keep an attack under control.
Nipping an attack in the bud… by far the most effective method is to deal with vine weevils while they are still at larvae stage, and this can be done by drenching your compost with a systemic insecticide such as Provado Vine Weevil Killer.
If you encounter adults… these are resistant to sprays, so the best approach is to physically remove them while they’re feeding at night. Simply place a newspaper or tray underneath your plant and then ‘knock’ it to dislodge the beetles which will then collect in your tray – then you need to squash them and bin them.
Biological alternatives include... the introduction of pathogenic nematodes. These little parasitic worms won’t damage your plants but give the vine weevil larvae a fatal disease however, as with most biological controls, conditions will need to be perfect for the treatment to be effective.
So now you’re forewarned, you can also make sure you’re forearmed – by popping in to see us and stock up on vine weevil control.
And if you have any other pests our helpful, friendly staff will be happy to offer expert, practical advice to help keep your garden a pest-free zone!