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alternatives to pesticides - bugs/pests- Root Weevils

root weevils

Actual size: Adults 1/4

Root weevils commonly infest the root systems of ornamental shrubs such as azalea, primrose, rhododendron and small fruits such as blueberry and strawberry.  Larvae live in the ground around the base of a plant and chew on the bark and the surrounding surface roots primarily during the fall and winter months. Adult root weevils are nocturnal feeders, notching the edges of the leaves, and are most active from late spring through summer.

Physical control
Apply sticky substance - You can apply a collar with a band of a sticky substance such as Tanglefoot around the base of the trunk to trap them and prevent them from reaching their food source.
Handpick - Handpicking the adults at night is an effective control method.
Prune - Prune any branches that are touching the ground to prevent adults from crawling up them to feed.
Rake - Rake any mulch away from the stem to reduce their hiding places.

Biological control
Nematodes - Use beneficial nematodes available at a nursery or garden center. When the nematodes are re-hydrated, they attack and kill the root weevil larvae. This treatment is effective in early fall. Follow label instructions.

Least-toxic chemical control
Neem - Neem is a relatively new botanical insecticide derived from a tree. This product is reported to be very effective, with slightly more staying power than some other botanical insecticides. It does, however, break down completely and is less toxic to humans than some botanicals. Use Neem to control adults in early summer.
Diatomaceous earth - Diatomaceous earth is made from ground up fossils, it comes in a powder form and is very abrasive. It is a dust that abrades the skin and body joints of insects. Dry diatomaceous earth makes an effective slug barrier. Applying diatomaceous earth around plants may help in dry weather. Do not inhale the dust. Wear nose and mouth protection when applying, and keep pets away from the area.

 

 

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