Weevils: Home Garden Destroyers
Otiorhynchus sulcatus, also known as the black vine weevil originated in Europe, but are prevalent throughout North America. The weevil is a type of beetle that migrated from Europe in the mid-to-late 19th century.
Adult weevils are black with fused wing covers and unable to fly. The nose of the weevil is a snout that curves downward in front of the face, somewhat like an anteater. These nocturnal feeders are usually the culprits of plant destruction. Often, home gardeners find container plants victims to grubs. Adult Black Vine weevils prefer to eat rhododendrons and yews, and have no problem destroying hundreds of plants at one time. Their grubs will work on plants from the underground up, by starting at the roots and stems until the plant dies.
Grubs grow up to 1 cm in length and remain underground until they are mature. They are a creamy-white color, with a tan-brown head. Most grubs feed off herbaceous plants, particularly those growing in containers where root growth is restricted.
Types of Weevils:
White Pine Weevil
Soil-dwelling grubs can be controlled using parasitic nematodes. Adult weevils can be eliminated by using sticky barriers on the trunks of affected plants, or manually removed during night-time feeding rituals.
If a weevil gets into your house, a vacuum cleaner is a fast removal method. (Be sure to empty it to avoid reinfestation.)
Weevil traps are also a removal method. If neither method works, please contact our staff for a consultation.
Woodrats, also known as Pack Rats or Trade Rats are pale, gray or reddish brown with white underbelly and feet. Woodrats have large ears and hairy tails. They range from 8-20” long including their 3-9” tail. It is believed the woodrat is a fair tradesman in leaving something in exchange for equal value for anything it takes.
Woodrats are widely distributed throughout all the North American desert regions and Canada. In New Mexico, populations east of the Rio Grande comprise the white-toothed and white-throated woodrat.
The woodrat habitat encompasses anything from gravel desert lowlands, dry plains, brushlands, and pinyon-juniper forests, from sea level to 8,000 feet of high rocky mountainsides. In North American deserts there are seven species of woodrats.
Woodrats collect various objects and materials to use for their nests. Most nests are constructed from branches, twigs, sticks, and other material they gather. Their nests are similar to a beaver-dam and may be up to 4-feet wide. Woodrats most commonly mingle in attics, car engines, haystacks, near cacts and yucca plants. Cactus and yucca plants provide protection from predators and desert temperatures.
To learn more about woodrats, continue reading here.