Worse than them cousins that appear empty-handed every Christmas, eat all of your mince pies, clear out your drinks cabinet and then reappear twelve months later unannounced… Vine Weevil are one of them that just make my blood boil. I hate them, nobody likes them and really they have zero characteristics of benefit to anyone but themselves. Harsh ? You have no idea….
Who Are These Little F@*?ers ?
Vine Weevil or Otiorhynchus sulcatus have a life cycle similar to that of a butterfly and depending on the stage they are at, is dependent on the damage type they will cause. Never seen ’em before ? They look very like something the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Outta Here jungle folk would eat in one of them challenges, except they are smaller. Further…
The eggs are usually found in wee little clumps that nestle together like a miniature boulder of luminous yellow/ white frozen tiny frozen peas. And it is when they develop into a 1cm long legless grub, with a wee brown head, that they begin their feeding.
The big problem with this family is that usually when we cop that they visited, it’s just too late. Because what we see is a slow down in growth, then a plant wilting until it eventually collapses, keels over and dies. All of this caused by the weevils eating the plants growth below ground, where their eggs were laid. Of note the adults lay their eggs in Spring/ Summer ~ very important in the CSI What Killed My Plant Miami Dept.
Smarter than they look, the matt black adults feed only at night-time and then disappear all day. I know one or two humans who do that… The adult weevils preference is only to eat the leaves of our plants, above ground level. In the context of getting one back and in what some gardeners may call justice ~ just to confuse them, someone gave them wings that are about as useful to them as a concrete block.
How The Flip Do I Stop These Flippers:
Garden hygiene in short is all about keeping your garden tidy, regularly. In that I mean really really giving it a good decent once over down on your hands and knees 2- 3 times per year. And it is the not doing that that encourages the Vine Weevil’s to set up home in your patch or garden.
Taking it a stage further, in plant growing, the hygiene starts with sterilising pots [I use milton, yup for baby bottles or jeyes fluid] and clean compost. Not doing the basics here, then propagating plants and then handing out to varying punters is what gives some nurseries a bad name, or allows you the individual to fall out with friends and family.
In choosing plants, I only choose my plants from good nurseries. And a quick survey of their plants, should it be necessary will tell me if they are using products like Suscon Green of old or Supernemos to prevent the Otiorhynchus sulcatus from developing further, prior to being brought into your garden.
Why am I noting this:
We are in high season for egg laying and their eating. One very simply may not cop it for another few months. That and prevention is better than cure. Any queries or Q’s, pop a comment in below or drop me a line. Details on the contact Peter Donegan page.
- image 1: Above top, cabbage plants after vine weevil had dinner
- image 2: what Philip saw and why he text me
- image 3 and 4: vine weevil eggs
- image 5: new born weevil
- image 6: (below) Philip’s text to me last night