What is vine weevil?
Vine weevil is a beetle that feeds on a wide range of plants, both indoors and outdoors, but can be especially damaging to plants grown in containers.
It is a very widespread and common insect. The adult weevils eat leaves during spring and summer, but it is the grubs that can cause the most damage over autumn and winter when they feed on plant roots. This damage can result in wilting and plant death.
Plants growing in pots and containers, outdoors or under cover, are most likely to be severely damaged by vine weevil grubs. Plants growing in the open ground are less likely to be damaged, although heavy infestations of grubs can occur on strawberries, Primula, polyanthus, Sedum, Heuchera and young yew plants.
The adult beetles feed on the foliage of many herbaceous plants and shrubs, especially Rhododendron, evergreen Euonymus, Hydrangea, Epimedium, Bergenia, Primula and strawberry. Adults rarely cause enough damage to affect the vigour of plants.
There are several other species of weevil closely related to vine weevil, such as the privet weevil Otiorhynchus crataegi and the recently arrived O. armadillo. The adults of these other species cause similar damage but are usually less problematic as larvae.