Root weevil larvae attack the roots and root crowns of carrots, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes. Feeding can weaken, disfigure, and even kill young plants. Adult weevils look like hard-shelled beetles with a long snout; the larvae are small grubs.
Though different species feed on different types of plants, all have similar lifecycles and inflict similar damage. In early summer, the adults lay their eggs around the base of host plants. Larvae feed for several weeks on the crown and roots of the infected plant. Some root weevils, such as the black vine weevil, also attack the foliage of plants. The weevils hide near the base of plants during the day. They are found throughout North America.
Prevention and Control
- Adult root weevils rarely fly, so rotating annual crops such as carrots to a new bed each year is helpful in reducing damage. Adults and larvae overwinter in plant debris, so be sure to clean up the garden at the end of the season.
- For perennial crops, spread a drop cloth around the plants. At night, shake the plants to dislodge the weevils onto the cloth. Then gather up the cloth and destroy the weevils by dumping them into a container of soapy water.
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