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Strawberry Root Weevil

Mole cricket

Strawberry Root Weevil

Strawberry Root Weevil,Otiorhynchus sulcatus is probably the most common insects found in northern part of the United States.

Strawberry Root Weevil adult stage of these insects is a small, dark snout beetle with rows of pits along their backs. The different species will differ slightly in size and color. The strawberry root weevil is black to light brown and 1/5 inch, the rough strawberry weevil chocolate brown and 1/4 inch, and the black vine weevil is black with small flecks of yellow on its back and 2/5 inch. The grubs are white, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, and a characteristic “c” shape. These grubs can be distinguished from other soil grubs because they are smaller and legless with a lighter colored head.

strawberry root weevils in the house can be difficult and frustrating. Some of the invasion can be prevented by exclusion techniques that close their routes of entry. Look for and seal cracks and gaps in the foundation and around windows and doors through which the adults can crawl into the building. Spraying a residual insecticide on and along the foundation and in outdoor areas of weevil abundance may reduce the number of weevils outside and thereby reduce the number wandering in.

Life Cycle: Adults of Otiorhynchus generally emerge in late May through June from puparia in the soil. They feed at night on foliage and hide during the day. After a period of approximately 30 to 60 days or 10 to 14 days, they begin to lay eggs. Some larvae of these species do not pupate in the spring and will remain in the soil throughout the summer. They then pupate in the fall and overwinter as adults, to emerge the following spring.

Strawberry Root Weevil larvae

Strawberry Root Weevil Larva

Depending on the species, peak egg laying occurs from late July through August. Eggs are laid in the soil around the plants; they are pearly white when laid, but soon change to an amber color. Eggs of the strawberry root weevil are 0.4 mm by 0.5 mm ; those of the black vine weevil are 0.6 mm spheres. Grubs of the strawberry root weevil are about 6 mm long when fully grown; those of the black vine weevil are 12 mm long. By October, most of the eggs have hatched into larvae; hatching occurs about ten days after the eggs are laid. Young larvae feed on fine roots and crowns in mid-summer, overwinter in the soil, and cause their heaviest damage in the spring. Black vine weevil pupae are soft and white. There is only one generation per year.

Damage: Larvae feed on the roots of strawberry plants and can completely devour small rootlets and destroy the bark and cortex of larger roots. Injured plants often wilt because the roots can no longer provide moisture for leaves. Weevil larvae can also be found burrowed into the lower portion of the plant’s crown. Adults feed on foliage and remove large scallops from the leaves. Such leaf damage is a good indication that weevils are present, but is not economically damaging to the plants.

The flightless adult females reproduce parthenogenetically. Adults emerge in late spring or summer, feed on strawberry foliage, and females lay their eggs around the crowns about 1 month after emergence. After hatching, weevil larvae burrow into the soil and feed on strawberry roots and crowns. The insects overwinter as mature larvae in the soil. In spring, they resume feeding and can cause extensive damage before they pupate.

Strawberry Root Weevil Damage

Strawberry Root Weevil Damage

Control: strawberry root weevils originate outdoors, control procedures which prevent indoor infestations should be implemented. Eliminating potential entry ways into the home with weather stripping or caulk may be effective. Cracks around windows, doorsills and vents should be sealed. Tight fitting screens and doors will reduce the number of weevils crawling into the home. Removal of wild strawberries, brambles and other host plants may also reduce infestations.

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