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Vine weevils - new to me

a1154a1154 Sunny South Scotland Posts: 996
I’ve got 2 big troughs outside my door that I fill with pots for a display. I spotted a big snail yesterday, so I took the pots out for an investigation, but found a group of insects as well. Mr Google tells me they are vine weevils, so I got rid of them.
Should I now investigate the soil for the grubs? In all the pots, or what do they like best? I’m happy to list the plants in pots if I need to find the grubs, and they have a preference list. It was a fuchsia pot they were found on (the outside).
Thanks for help. 


  • JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Paris FrancePosts: 845
    yup they love fuchsias, amongst a lot of other things. I have lost a few to the grubs who munch happily on the roots, one day beautiful plant, next day droops and separates from the soil as they have eaten through the roots and stem.

    remove and kill any you find and replace as much soil as you can.
  • a1154a1154 Sunny South Scotland Posts: 996
    Ah ok. I’ve got fuchsia, dahlias, cordyline, gazania, pelargonium, and a few grasses. Is anything safe or would you repot / investigate all?
    I see what the grubs look like online. It does say they start in mid August though, so they would be eggs and harder to see at the moment. Probably it’s best to leave it for now and have a look for grubs in a month or so? 
    I can keep an eye out for the adults.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,314
    Get some nematodes,  they are a natural parasite.  You mix them up in water and Drench the soil.  Keep the soil moist they will work  for 6-8 weeks and kill off any grubs as they hatch.
    AB Still learning

  • JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Paris FrancePosts: 845
    I have found they go for the fushias when at “grub” stage, never seen adults on them, look for notches in the foliage of the cordaline and dahlias, they seen to ignore peralgoniums and grasses with me. The adults only appear at night so out with the torch is best when looking for them. In the daytime they will be hiding under leaves, pot rims etc.
  • a1154a1154 Sunny South Scotland Posts: 996
    Hi, yes it’s the dahlia leaves that are being eaten. I’ll probably not scare the neighbours with a torch, but I’ll have a good look during the day. 
    What nasty things. I hope something eats them. There is a nice fat toad that visits the troughs.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,190
    If you're absolutely sure they were vine weevil grubs, you can simply lay them out for the birds to eat. The adults only cause a bit of cosmetic damage to foliage, and any plant which is healthy won't be adversely affected . 
    It's better to make sure though, before disposing of any insect, as you could be getting rid of beneficial ones. A  photo on here would have got you an ID very quickly.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • a1154a1154 Sunny South Scotland Posts: 996
    The grubs aren’t there at this time of year according to Google, it’s the adults I have found. 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,593
    September and March are the times to use nematodes. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,039
    a1154 said:
    The grubs aren’t there at this time of year according to Google, it’s the adults I have found. 
    One tip is to squeeze the vine weevils a bit and if they're soft then it's likely that they've just pupated. IE they were grubs in your pots and now they've just emerged as adults. That's a great time to catch them as it means they won't have laid eggs yet.
    This time of year it's likely that the grub damage is done and you need to concentrate on breaking the cycle. The best way to do this is to check the pots at night every day and destroy any adults. Digging the plants up now might reveal some late bloomers but unless you're going to take the plants back to bare roots and then double check the roots for any grubs hiding inside then it's likely to be a waste of time. It can be worth doing to save a very precious plant but you still need to get rid of all the adults to prevent the same problem next year.

    Some people bring joy wherever they go. Others, whenever they go. - Mark Twain.
  • Kate 7Kate 7 Posts: 333
    I find I have to tolerate vine weevil. I grow a lot of plants in pots so am observant when potting up, remove any I find and occasionally dispose of an affected plant. Nemesys would cost too much to treat all my pots.  I know they are also in my house plants as I see the adults walking up the walls.
    They do not always conform to what Google says so make sure you use a reliable site such as RHS. When I first had problems with them,  about 35 years ago,  I was really worried about the damage they would do but I lose few plants to them.
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