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Strawberry Root Weevils destroy my container plants.

Posted by sunslight Utah z5-6 (My Page) on
Mon, May 2, 05 at 23:41

Does anyone have a sure (as best there can be) way to stop the Strawberry Root Weevil?

It is ubiquetous in my area. It chews, roses, euyonimous, forsethia, annuals, perennials, vines, shrubs, trees--it's tell-tell mark is for the adult to leave chewed notches on the plant's leafs, while the larve destroys the roots.

I can't rid it from the county, but it's imperitative that I stop it from getting into my container and pot planting.

Some of these plants are expensive fruit trees/tropicals, that I have over-wintered, then taken outside for the spring & summer.

I have to stop the SRW from climbing the Container walls and getting into the potting soil.

I could use a systemic pesticide, but don't want to. I want to stop it before it gets to the soil.

For my annual containers though, I don't know of any other way than using chemicals in the container's soil.

But that won't work on my fruit trees that are in containers. They bear edible fruit.

I've lost four rare plants to these pests. They must (I don't see them) climb the sides of the round containers--18" diameter containers--and drop into the soil, to take up nice home.

Anyone have ideas on how I can stop them? Isolation from the lawn/shrubs didn't work--I had them 20 ft away and still got infested.

Is there something sticky I can put on the container sides to catch the bug as it tries climbing the sides?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Strawberry Root Weevils destroy my container plants.

  • Posted by Vikk 8b sunset 10 (My Page) on
    Sun, May 8, 05 at 15:36

Were your containers outside last summer when they were laying eggs? Keep an eye out for white and amber colored eggs. It appears the adults eat the leaves and the grubs eat the roots!

I did find this:

"Hb nematodes, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, have been shown to be effective. These searching nematodes burrow through moist soil, seek out, and kill the root weevil larvae. Their cost reduces their usefulness except in small areas or valuable crops, such as seedling beds or nurseries."


RE: Strawberry Root Weevils destroy my container plants.

Thanks Vikk,

I just got to read your reply.

Not being certain when the weevils lay their eggs, I cannot say if the containers were outside then or not.

But since they were out from late spring to early fall, it's pretty sure they were.

After bringing the plants in for the winter, I noticed the decline in growth. I thought it was winter dormancy kicking in--although in the house, the never really go dormant, just relax a bit.

A couple of months later, the leaves had the tell-tale notches. One night I caught an adult weevil on a plants. --it hiding or maybe chewing at the top of the plant. I was searching for it at the bottom.

Although I spent weeks getting up at 3 in the morning, using a flashlight to find adults and then get rid of them, the plant (this was a Meyer lemon) was dead by the spring.
With one hand and hardly any effort, the entire 5' tree came out of the ground--no roots left, and it wasn't root rot.

I have some BT here. If they get infested again I will try it.

I think the best thing is to prevent the bugs from getting into the container soil.

Do you or anyone reading this know of a good (<$$) source for tanglefoot?

Is there a way to make it or something like it, myself?

Thanks for the good help.


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