Friday, August 6, 2010

Don't Bug Me!

Bugs in my garden... 
that seems like a natural place for them to be.
And I'm ok with that...
                           until they begin eating my plants.

Slugs and Snails know they better watch out.  My grandkids keep them in check. 

Grasshoppers? They have a bounty on their heads... 25 cents for each hopper caught.

But there is one ugly bug that holds no welcome in my garden...

The Root Weevil

This little creature can cause more damage faster 
than any bug I know.

He hides at the base of each plant by day 
and unleashes his voracious appetite by night.

He methodically treads around each leaf 
removing large scallops as he goes
until each leaf looks as though 
they have been carefully edged with pinking shears.

Maybe he thinks he's beautifying his world.

I think he's causing havoc in my beautiful gardens.

Once he's made his little notches...

you'll be looking at them for the rest of the summer.

Root Weevils are a major pest in Utah.
They are seldom seen, but their damage is highly visible.  
They attack ornamental plants as well as food crops.

Organic controls are limited but effective under the right conditions. Parasitic nematodes are available from some nurseries and from mail-order sources. Keep in mind that natural controls are going to suppress the pest populations but do not eradicate them. That is because the predators would die out themselves if they were to kill all the weevils, so expect some notching to occur with this method.

The beetles can also be trapped if they are only bothering a few plants. Bury straight-sided glass or slick plastic tumblers around the plants so the top edge is even with the soil surface. Pour a half-inch of cooking oil in the bottom of the glass. As the beetles fall into the containers they will be trapped and destroyed. The traps need to be cleaned and the oil replaced regularly.

These pests are aggravating and destructive. Learn to tolerate some damage because total control is almost impossible. Concentrate controls on valuable plants that are the least likely to tolerate the damage."   ~Larry Sagers, Horticulturist With The Utah State University Extension Service


  1. Now if it were Japanese beetles your grandchildren would be rich around here LOL! I do not know if I have ever saw that weevil before or realized what it may be even other than a bug, but it does like making holes in your plant leaves. It looks innocent enough doesn't it.

  2. You have to remember that most bugs are beneficial in some way and yes they do attach hostas.

    Have a great evening,

  3. Dear Lona, I have heard of but never seen a Japanese Beetle. Should I be grateful?

    Jeff, I suppose they do, but never in my garden... cross my fingers?

    Liza and John, No doubt many bugs are beneficial, however, I have yet to discover the benefits of a root weevil, a grasshopper or a slug or snail. Anyone care to enlighten me?

  4. Does BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) work on these boogers? The most tenacious pest in my garden this summer and last is the grasshopper.

    Japanese Beetles will give you goosebumps as those big sucker buzz around with not much navigational skills. Their hairy legs cling on to you, your laundry on the line, and most anything else.

    As for most bugs being beneficial...that's not reason to let something that outnumbers us humans a gazillion to one to take over your garden. Be vigilant.

  5. I look at root weevil damage and laugh usually. I guess some insects like serrated leaves. I'm not in any hurry to control them, since they usually don't kill plants.

  6. Those root weevil are evil! Sorry about the holes on your foliage. I've never seen a bug like this except June Beetles! I'm looking forward to reading your posts, I'm now following your blog! :)

  7. Now, the bounty on this bug should be triple. :) Looks like it could hurt if it bit you and not the plant.


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