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The symptoms

Vine weevil is a secretive insect, not often seen during daylight hours. The adult hides away during the day - sheltering under leaves and in cracks and crevices in walls and fences. The adult, larval and pupa stages are under the ground and out of view.

Step one:

Despite plants being well watered and cared for diagnosis of vine weevil in the garden or house tends to start with seemingly inexplicable yellowing and wilting of your plant foliage.

Step two:

Closer examination often reveals notching around the outer edges of foliage caused by the adults feeding at night.

Step three:

Knock the plant out of the container and examine the root ball. The larvae of the vine weevil are easy to spot, white, legless maggots about 10-12 mm long with a brown head present in the soil or compost. The weevils feed on the effected plants roots to such an extent that it kills it.



Collect adults by touch light by hand at night then the adults are most active. Removal of the maggots from the root ball by knocking out the plants and inspecting the roots.

Biological Control

Treatments against vine weevil based on biological control agents such as nematodes can be effective. Typically the main drawback with this technique is that the vine weevil larvae are damagingly active at temperatures much lower than those required for effective control by the nematode worms.
Nevertheless, this technique can be useful under protection, where temperatures are higher.

Insecticides for ornamental plants

This is the simplest solution for garden shrubs. The insecticide must be of the systemic type so that it enters the plant and enters the roots killing the vine weevil maggots directly.

Plant protection compost

Until the launch last year of Levington Plant Protection Composts, there was no insecticide available to amateurs that would protect plants from root damage by the larvae of Black Vine Weevil. This unique compost is the new 'anti vine weevil' compost, which has been treated at manufacture with the insecticide Intercept (imidacloprid). This insecticide works by systemic action to give control of the soil dwelling insect pests, vine weevil and sciarid fly for up to one year and is taken up in the plant to control sap-sucking foliage pests green fly and black fly for up to 3 months. It has also been shown to give useful control of whitefly.

Pot on seedlings and baby plants in Levington Plant Protection compost. As the plants get bigger re-pot into more Plant Protection Compost. Make sure only Levington Plant Protection Compost is used in the container because the Intercept insecticide cannot 'flow' from treated compost into untreated root ball. Any larvae in, for example, the root ball of a plant being potted on will not be controlled and may still kill the plant by eating all the roots. With plants already infested, the best advice is to wash the roots clean of old compost before re-potting into Levington Plant Protection Compost.

There are three varieties of Plant Protection Compost:

  • One for Outdoor Containers
  • One for Houseplant Containers
  • And one for Ericaceous Containers.

Grow 'trap plants'

The idea is to grow plants such as primula, polyanthus, cyclamen etc that are attractive to Vine Weevil adults in pots of Levington Plant Protection Compost. These plants are placed amongst garden plants that are vulnerable or have been attacked. The adult will go for these trap plants, lay their eggs in the Lexington Plant Protection Compost and the next generation is controlled completely.





Vine weevil damage




adult vine weevil


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