Vine weevil menace returns to Clapham!

They’re back! Those little notch mark bites on your otherwise lovely leaves. Yep, it must be vine weevil. Grr. Interestingly, it was September last year that I first noticed the bite marks on the flowers of our Cyclamen. This year, it was on a fern and then all over the Heuchera ‘Licorice’.

So, like the mad man of the neighbourhood that I am, iPhone in tow set to torch mode, I ventured out in the dark of night. Lo and behold, two nights on the trot now and I’ve found four of them. Unfortunately, there is no friendly way to dispatch of these nasties and they go with a crunch under foot. But, be ready, you have to catch them as they will drop to the soil the second they realise you’re onto them.

Last year I tried Nemasys vine weevil killer nematodes (Steinernema kraussei) which give the grubs some kind of bacteria and supposedly kills them. I can only guess this worked to a degree because I haven’t seen any damage until now… Oh, except for the one grub I found at the start of the year which killed a sweet pea.

I am kicking myself now for not doing an application of the nematodes in early summer, which may have prevented the current onslaught. This evening I gave one application, concentrating on the pots and the plants I know to be vulnerable (especially with the bite marks and vine weevils seen on them). I will also keep up the nightly patrols – until a neighbour rings the police thinking I’m a burglar.

If anyone knows of anything that will actually kill the adult weevil too (other than a stamp of a foot) please let me know…

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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