Recognize, combat and prevent vine weevil

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Recognizing vine weevil

Recognizing adult vine weevil
The vine weevil, also called the grooved vine weevil, is a small black beetle 7-10 mm long with light spots on the elytra. Adult vine beetles emerge around May. The beetles cannot fly and can be found on leaves at dusk or at night. During the day, for example, they hide in plant pots or under pieces of wood.

gegroefde lapsnuitkever op blad

Adult vine weevil

A small, dark beetle with light spots

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Recognizing vine weevil

The vine weevil has a characteristic long head.

Recognizing vine weevil larvae
From July to October, the vine weevil lays eggs, from which larvae hatch. The larvae are 1 to 12 mm long.

The larva of the vine weevil shows similarities with the larva of the leaf beetle (grub ) or the crane fly ( emelt ), but there are also striking differences. Taxus beetle larvae are milky white in color with a brown head, unlike the leatherjackets. In addition, vine weevil larvae have no legs, which distinguishes them from grubs. When a vine weevil larva is disturbed, it will roll up into a C-shape.

Verschil taxuskeverlarve, engerling, emelt en ritnaald

Taxus beetle larva

Note the color of the body and head, presence or absence of legs and the shape of the body.

Taxus beetle development

The adult vine weevil lays eggs in the soil from July to October. The round, white eggs are only 0.7 mm in size.

After two weeks, white larvae with a brown head emerge from the eggs. The larvae are then 1 mm in size. The larvae feed on plant roots and grow up to 12 mm in length. The larva overwinters and as soon as temperatures rise, the larva pupates in the spring around April.

From May you can observe damage from the adult vine weevil. The adult beetle is active at night and takes round bites from the side of leaves. After a month the vine beetle is adult and can lay eggs. The cycle is complete!

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Taxus beetle damage

There are several ways in which the vine weevil can damage plants.

Damage by the adult vine weevil
The damage caused by the adult vine weevil is most clearly visible. The vine weevil feeds at night on the leaves of various types of plants such as yew, rhododendron, cyclamen and azalea. The beetle takes round bites from the side of the leaves, which can make the plants look very unattractive.

Damage by the vine weevil larva
Underground, invisible to human eyes, the larvae of the vine weevil live in the soil. They enjoy the roots of plants. This is of course harmful to the plant, and can weaken or even kill the plant.

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Round bites from the sides of the leaves

Fighting vine weevil naturally

You can combat vine weevils easily and effectively with two different products: Felti nematodes or Phora nematodes . The type of nematode depends on the time of control.

Control vine beetle larvae

You can effectively combat the larvae of vine weevils with the help of nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic worms that parasitize the larvae of the vine weevil, ultimately leading to their death. The nematodes are supplied in a clay-like substance that can be dissolved in water. Pour the nematode and water solution over the potting soil and let the worms do the work.

Controlling adult vine weevils
Unfortunately, adult vine weevils cannot be effectively controlled with nematodes. This is because the armor of the vine weevil is difficult for the nematodes to penetrate, in contrast to the soft skin of the larvae. The adult vine weevil can be caught by placing a grooved board under an affected shrub or plant. The beetles will crawl under the plank towards the end of the night and hide in the grooves. This way, the vine beetles can be removed during the day.

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Nematodes against the vine weevil

The Felti nematodes are small but very effective in controlling fungus fly larvae in the soil.

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Rouwvliegjes vangkaartje

Catching mourning flies

Effectively catch mourning flies with the Sticky Leaf Green Mini trapping cards. The green leaves look beautiful and inconspicuous in the houseplants.

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When to combat the vine weevil


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Preventing vine weevil

You can prevent mourning flies by making the environment less favorable for the larvae of mourning flies and by using natural enemies preventively.

Mourning flies can end up in your plants in several ways. Newly purchased plants are often infected with eggs or larvae of fungus flies. It is therefore advisable to set the new plants aside in a room for a few days or put them outside for a while.

Improve plant drainage
Pay close attention to the drainage of the pot with your (house) plants. With many plants, if the roots are left in water for too long, they turn brown and rot. This is called root rot. The larvae of the mourning flies love fungi and a wet environment. Lift the plant's inner pot occasionally. This way you can inspect whether the roots are nice and white in color and look healthy. You can check the humidity with a moisture meter or feel it by pressing a finger deep into the soil.
In the case of pots in the garden or on the balcony, make sure there are holes at the bottom of the pot so that water does not remain in the pot.

Use nematodes preventively
An effective way to prevent fungus flies is to preventively add Felti nematodes to plants. Add the nematodes to the amount of water you normally give the plant.

Other ways to control vine weevils

Combat fungus flies with ant powder or other chemical agents
There are many different insect repellents on the market that claim to be 100% natural, ecological or organic. Unfortunately, these products can still contain toxic, naturally occurring substances. The problem with these products is that they very commonly and effectively kill insects that come into contact with them.

For example, if it is used outdoors it can wash off the leaves and end up in water. The toxins can be harmful to creatures that live in the water. These products are also not good for pets, children or your own health. Always check the composition on the packaging. Be aware of toxic substances such as pyrethrins, deltamethrin or acetamiprid and prefer to avoid them.

Fight fungus flies with cinnamon
Some people combat fungus gnats by mixing cinnamon with boiling water. This mixture is poured into the plants after it has cooled. This technique is also used with thyme. The herbs would then have a repellent effect.

Fight fungus flies with coffee
By spreading coffee grounds over the potting soil, you repel adult fungus flies. Due to the strong smell, they prefer not to lay eggs in the potting soil. This technique does not control the larvae of fungus flies in the potting soil.

Fight fungus flies with garlic
By putting garlic cloves in the plant you ensure that the fungus flies are less likely to lay eggs in the potting soil. Unfortunately, this is not pleasant air for you either! The garlic does not ensure that the larvae of the fungus flies are controlled or disappear.