Identifying Black Vine Weevils in your Landscape
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John Buechner - June 13, 2014

Maintaining your garden area or your tree & shrubs can be hard work! Early spring to mid-summer season, black vine weevils may be active in your garden or landscape plantings.  The weevil is gray-to-black and lays eggs which turn into small white grubs. Certain species of plants are favored hosts of the black vine weevil. Strawberries are at high risk of black vine weevil infestations. Other plantings at risk are winter creepers, yews, azaleas, hostas, lily-of-the-valley, hemlocks, rhododendrons and euonymus.

Identifying Black Vine Weevils Characteristics

Black vine weevils are nocturnal and feed on foliage at night. Adult black vine weevils are active throughout the months of May, June, and July. They typically stay on the ground near your plants for feeding purposes. Black vine weevils prefer to hide in the dark near the stems of various plants during daylight hours. Those spots allow them to lay eggs for reproduction. If not spotted quickly, adults can lay on average 500 eggs in 20 days.

During the immature stage, these grubs will appear below the soil surface as legless, C-shaped creatures with a white color body.  As they mature in to their adult stage, you begin to see the color change from white to black. Sizes can range from 9-13 mm long with physical features of an antennae and short legs.

Damage and Treatment

Black vine weevils feed on the leaf margins and stems of ornamental plants. If left untreated, the larvae will attack the roots of host plants causing extensive damage or possible death.

For treatment options, you can use insecticides and follow the label instructions. For the best results possible, an effective control program by your local lawn care professional is suggested. To help maintain the quality of your landscape and for information on treating and identifying black vine weevils, contact your local Lawn Doctor for more information.