Is this vine weevil on my new deciduous azalea

Answered by Gavin Posted in Category Pest Control & Nature


I have been on your website for the treatment of leaf eating pests and wanted to identify whether this is vine weevil attack. I have just planted this splendid rhododendron Northern Highlights 3 weeks ago after purchasing it in perfect condition from the Hillier stand at the Chelsea flower show. This is an old Victorian garden with some mature trees. We have only been here three years but there is a small holly bush eaten in the same way and some primula that I have recently planted in this particular part , although the rest of the garden doesn't seem to be affected . This part though, is sheltered by a 300 year old Holme oak.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.


Kate Anderson.

Hello Kate

at your picture I'm 99.9% sure (and sorry to say) its adult Vine Weevil damage. Holly is also susceptible to attack from Vine Weevil, and Primula's even more so. The larvae will be feeding on the roots.

A good application of Nematodes (follow this link ) will help reduce further attacks as they parasitize the soil dwelling larvae, but also good hygiene around the affected plants by means of clearing away dead leaf litter etc and cultivation of the surrounding soil. You can also collect and dispose of adults from the plants if you wish which is usually best done during dark hours with a torch.

Many thanks for your query, and good luck.

Kindest Regards

Gavin Hatt

Pest Control Expert

Harrod Horticultural

Meet the Author: Gavin Hatt
Gavin Hatt

Believe it or not I began my career as a cobbler, however, after 11 years in the trade I decided to pursue my boyhood dream of studying insects (this I had already been doing for much of my life!). Whilst studying towards this career change I applied for a part-time post in the entomology department at one of the UK's leading plant biological science research institutes. I was fortunate enough to secure the post, to which I have now occupied for 12 years full-time.


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