Root weevils can be serious pests of berry plants, ornamentals and certain grasses. They do their damage in both the adult and immature larvae form. As with all weevils, the adult beetles have a pronounced snout and chewing mouth parts. Their shells are either light brown to black and they have rows of depressions along their backs.

Most species of root weevils do not fly since their wing covers are fused together on their backs. The adult weevils feed at night and generally leave notches on the edges of the leaves.

The larvae are a white, C-shaped grub that is legless and has a brown colored head. They often feed at the base of the plant stem and may also burrow into the root zone. The grubs spend the winter in the soil and start to feed again in the spring. In large infestations, they may do enough damage to the root system to cause the plant to lose vigor and be severely weakened.

Soil insecticides may be effective for the grub form and the adults may be controlled with typical systemic or contact type insecticides sprayed onto the foliage. Be sure to use only products labeled for both root weevils and the plant being attacked.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Rhododendrons and roses are sometimes attacked by root weevils.
 

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