The Black Vine Weevil is a known pest to an expansive variety of plants and usually feeds at night. Leaves are chewed away, leaving gardeners and farmers to wonder what happened the next morning.
Weevils are a type of beetle and this particular weevil is a member of the family Curculionidae, the largest family of insects to date. The Black Vine Weevil actually hails from Europe and is believed to have made its way to North America sometime in the mid-to-late 19 century.
The 'nose' of the weevil is called a snout and it curves downward in front of the face, somewhat like an anteater. They are small beetles and nocturnal feeders, making it difficult at first to identify them as culprits in plant destruction.
Infestations are most common in large-scale perennial plant growing facilities. Occasionally home gardeners find container plants victims to grubs.
Adult Black Vine Weevils seem to prefer eating rhododendrons and yews, but have no problem eating their way through hundreds of plants that are in front of them. Their grubs (offspring) will also destroy plants from underground as they eat away at roots and stems until the plant dies.
Females bore holes into stems or seeds to lay eggs in the summer. One female can lay hundreds of eggs so infestations can come about rapidly. Grubs emerge and live underground until maturity.
Common name: Black Vine Weevil
Scientific Name: Otiorrhynchus sulcatus
Adult Size (Length): 3mm to 7mm (0.12in to 0.28in) COMPARE
Identifying Colors: black, red
General Description: snout, beak, curve, trunk, elephant, anteater, harmful, pest
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan
* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.