Vine weevils are a nuisance for gardeners as they make healthy plants wilt and die, and no matter how much you water them, the plants won’t recover. This happens because vine weevil grubs specifically target the roots. So, can you drown vine weevil grubs to deal with them?
Yes, you can drown vine weevil grubs by submerging the bottom part of an infected plant in water for 48 hours. This won’t damage the plant but will drown the vine weevils.
Adult vine weevils are tiny crawling insects that like to eat plant leaves. They lay eggs in the soil of the plant. These eggs hatch into grubs which are horrid nuisances that are the worst enemy of your plants as they can stunt the growth of plants without you knowing about it – until it’s too late!
These vine weevil grubs only eat the plant’s roots, causing the plant not to receive any water and die. They love torturing potted plants, in particular. It is rare, but you may sometimes find one loose in the garden.
However, if you do spot one, it is a clear sign that you have a vine weevil infestation on your plants. To rid your plants of the vine weevil menace, you’ll have to submerge the plant pot in water for around 48 hours.
Too much water can indeed hurt plants, but 48 hours isn’t long enough to damage the plant, but it can drown the vine weevil grubs in the soil of the plant.
No, vine weevils can’t swim, which makes drowning them a good way to get rid of their nuisance. The insects can’t fly either, so drown them for 48 hours, and your grubby infestation will soon be gone.
How Does a Vine Weevil Infestation Start?
If you bring home an infected plant from your local nursery into your garden without realising that it’s infected with vine weevils, it will also infect other nearby plants.
To ensure your new plants are vine weevil free, you’ll have to quarantine the new plants until you’re sure that the plant is free of a vine weevil or any other pest infestation. If it’s safe to bring in the garden, only then put it in your garden.
Vine weevils are flightless and can only walk and crawl. They move from one plant to another by walking and crawling from pot to pot.
So no matter how sure you are that the nursery or garden centre from where you got the plant is free of all infestation, it’s probably not as even if one plant is infected, all the others will also be because all the plants are jam-packed and close together in a garden or nursery.
This makes all the other plants infected with vine weevil grubs as the vine weevils jump from one potted plant to another, infecting all of them.
How to Identify a Vine Weevil Infestation
Baby vine weevils are laid in the soil off the plant, which are nearly invisible to you as they’re very small and the soil hides them. When they hatch, they’re 10mm long ‘C’ shaped grubs with brown-coloured heads and a cream-coloured body.
They eat the roots of the plants, making the plant turn yellow, and then it wilts and collapses because of a lack of sustenance.
Before your plant dies, it’s important to keep in mind all the subtle little things that can help you identify that there is a vine weevil infestation.
If there are adult vine weevils on your plant, you can check the plant for any notches, such as tiny bite marks or holes. This indicates that the adult vine weevils are feeding on the plant.
However, this is not the case as even if the plant is filled with grubs, but there isn’t any visible damage on the leaves, the plant still would be infected, but you wouldn’t know if it is.
People accidentally figure out that there is a vine weevil infestation when they lazily pick up the plant instead of the pot, and the plant comes out of the pot, leaving the soil behind.
You will notice tiny air pockets, which will often have a grub in them, and when you shake the plant so the soil loosens, you’ll see a grub or two falling from the soil. The obvious identification is when your plant dies even though you were watering it timely – this is, of course, too late!
Vine weevils are a great threat to healthy plant life in gardens, and their grubs can completely destroy a plant by eating its roots. It’s important to identify if any of your plants have been infected by a vine weevil infestation, as an infected plant could have yellow spots on the leaves or bite marks of the adults.
You can get rid of the infestation by filling the bottom part of your plant for two days which will drown the grubs. Always check new plants before putting them in the garden to prevent an infestation.
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Anna is a keen organic gardener, avoiding any forms of chemicals when growing both flowers and vegetables meaning she has extensive knowledge on how to deal with pests naturally