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Strawberry Root Weevil

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Strawberry root weevils feed only at night so most gardeners never see them. They are easily recognized by their long snout. The adults damage the leaves but more damage is done to the plant by the larvae that feed on beneath the soil surface and destroy small, feeder roots. This pest is impossible to eradicate and difficult to control. Two products registered for use on ornamental plants are Orthene and Lily Miller Pest Kill Rose and Rhododendron Dust. For edible crops, Morgro manufactures a pest pellet that can be used as long as it is not applied directly to edible crops. Organic gardeners can use parasitic nematodes that are available at some local nurseries. Directions must be followed precisely because these are living organisms and can easily be killed by improper handling. These nematodes will not harm plants and are effective against the larval, not the adult stage.

Another trick to control the adults is to bury straight-sided glasses so that the top edge is at the soil line. Put 1/4 inch of salad oil in the bottom of the glass. When the adults fall into these traps, they cannot get out and are killed. Traps must be cleaned frequently and although tedious, this method works if sufficient traps are maintained throughout the season.

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