Insect Invasion: Black Vine Weevils

by | Jul 8, 2018 | 1 comment

This insect, black vine weevil, (Otiorhynchus sulcatus), is one you may never see, and I hope you never do. These insects are usually found outside eating your holly, rhododendrons, yews, and eunonymous–any broadleaf evergreens—at night. The only way to know they’ve been on your plant, (unless you are up at night checking your plants with a flashlight), is the notches they eat out of the leaves.  Unfortunately, occasionally they find their way into your home. I found one on my bathroom door, thought nothing of it, and got rid of it. Below is a picture of one that I found on the internet from Ohio State University. They are black beetles with long snouts as their mouth pieces. It reminds me of that aardvark from the Pink Panther cartoons.

So, I got rid of the weevil, thinking I had dodged a bullet. Then, when I watered my phalaenopsis orchid, I found this:

Weevil damage on my phalaeonopsis

That rotten weevil ruined my orchid leaves! I was so mad! Those notches aren’t going away.

The poo from the weevil

And, of course there was poo on my shell planter underneath and on the leaves. Yuck!

The phalaenopsis orchid with weevil damage

It didn’t affect the flowers, so that’s good.

The damage is done, and the perpetrator is dead. The good news is that usually weevils are never a big problem in the house. I don’t even know how this ended up on the second floor of my home. I haven’t taken any new plants upstairs. There are no plants up there that came from outside. I have no idea where it came from. Often, these are a problem that come in with your plants in the fall. These insects come from larvae in the soil. I think if you find these in the house, it will be easy to find the adult and kill it. If you find you have more damage, look in your potting medium and see if you find any larvae. I would remove the old medium and replace it with new, if I found any signs of life. I don’t think an insecticide would become necessary inside. I have not had to resort to insecticides for weevils in all my years of houseplant growing.

So, if you find some notches in the leaves of your houseplant, look around for a weevil in the vicinity and dispose of it immediately.

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1 Comment

  1. Jaime Haney

    I’m glad you found that little monster before he did a lot of damage! I’ve never seen one inside, thankfully. Thanks for the information and showing your poor orchid leaves so we can see the damage it causes.


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