Northwest berry Foundation

Management Detail

Weevil, Black Vine Root

in Strawberries

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Latin name: Otiorhynchus sulcatus


Black Vine and Strawberry are two of the major root weevil species that can be found in strawberries. The black vine weevil is the largest and has small yellow patches on its back. They feed on foliage, leaving characteristic notch marks on leaf margins, although this damage is usually insignificant to plant vitality, it is valuable for detecting their presence. They are 1/4- to 1/2-inch long. The larvae are white with tan heads, and have no legs. They feed on small roots and can quickly reduce the vigor of plants, causing plant death if larvae are numerous. Adult root weevils can still be present after harvest, however control measures of the adults should be taken early before egg laying begins in late spring. Eggs that were laid in the soil prior to or during harvest will hatch into young larvae that begin feeding on roots. Root weevil larvae overwinter two to eight inches deep in the soil.



  • In the spring, watch for areas of weak growth. Dig in the root zones, checking for the white grub like root weevil larvae.
  • When weevil adults emerge in late April /May, watch for leaf notching especially on sucker growth near the ground.
  • After dark on warm, calm nights, scout fields with a flashlight. Black vine and strawberry root weevils will be found feeding on top of the foliage.
  • Look for adults in the detritus and weeds at the base of plants.
  • In the fall, check areas that show weak growth and redden prematurely. The larvae be found in the fall but are much smaller than in the spring.

Cultural Controls:

None listed at present.


For information about chemical controls, check with our Pesticide Guide.


photo by J. Troubridge

photo by K. Gray

Black vine weevil larvae at base of plant - T. Peerbolt

Black vine weevil eggs - K. Gray

Weevil damage in strawberries - photo by T. Peerbolt

Various stages of black vine weevil from larva to pupa, to newly emerged adult with still soft body, to fully black adult - photo by T. Peerbolt


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