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Vine weevils in strawberries in conservatory!

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  • Vine weevils in strawberries in conservatory!

    I have strawberries growing in a planter and a couple of pots in the conservatory (because the squirrels eat them all outside). I've been finding vine weevils this year for the first time and was wondering whether I should keep the strawberries inside so they don't spread into the garden?

    And then what is my next move? Dispose of strawberries and the soil after they have finished fruiting?

    I've found about 10-15 so far and disposed of them. When I did some research I saw photos of the grub, and now I remember seeing a couple in the soil when I added some fresh plants in spring.

  • #2
    They love potted strawberries,is there a space they can be planted in the ground? When they’re dormant gently rinse the soil off the roots a bit & plant them out or re-pot them. I sometimes see a vine weevil adult on the kitchen ceiling,I think they go everywhere but they particularly seek out strawberries in containers,I think there’s nematodes you can water in.

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    • #3
      I was going to suggest rinsing the soil off once they have finished fruiting...then microwave the soil?

      There are sticky traps you can buy to catch them so they can't breed but it depends on if you think it'd be cruel to do that?

      "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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      • #4
        Personally I'd just keep the plants you have until they've rooted some new runners, say about 6 weeks from now, then chuck the old ones out. Wash the soil off the roots of the new plants in running water from a hose say and either plant them up in the ground or report in new compost. I definitely would not put any plants back in the Conservatory until next year - blinking weevils are an absolute menace and will live a surprisingly long time with nothing obvious to eat.

        PS I do reuse compost which has had bugs in it as I hate waste, but I store it first in a large half barrel container filled with rainwater to the top for 6 months. I figure nothing much is going to survive underwater for that period of time - bit messy though.

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        • #5
          I think I will try to remove and thoroughly wash the plants when they finish fruiting, and replant in fresh compost.

          So what to do with the compost... Microwaving sounds interesting but my planter is quite big and it could take quite some time, so I'll have to give that a miss. I have a small old wheelie bin that I could store it in. Storing it in water certainly sounds a bit messy! But I wonder if I just left it for a year, there wouldn't be anything for the grubs to eat, and they surely wouldn't be able to climb up the inside of a wheelie bin? Thanks again for the help

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          • #6
            It seems to be a "good" year for pests this year, my greenhouse has a lot of large green caterpillar's eating the chilliie and strawberry plant leaves.
            If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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            • #7
              Another option for buggy compost which I've read about but not tried is to put down a piece of plastic sheet or tarpaulin on your lawn, spread the compost out on that, and let the local birds give it a peck over for high calorie snacks.

              You could do that first and then store it for 6 months say in your bin. I suppose the problem with a lot of the little beasties is that they have n egg phase in their life cycle - not sure if this applies to weevils.

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              • #8
                I would like to spread the soil out for the birds on plastic, but the RHS website says their eggs are less than 1mm in size, and very hard to spot. So I don't want to risk tipping them all over the lawn which I would probably do at some point. The birds did enjoy the few grubs I found earlier in the year (before I knew what they were!)

                I suppose really, that growing new plants from runners would be the best option, because if the eggs are so small it would be hard to wash them all off. It's a bit more effort than I intended though!

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                • #9
                  The thing is with strawberries the plants deteriorate as they get older anyway - so to get the best out of the plants you do grow, they really need renewing every 2 years - on the upside rooting runners has to be one of the easiest bits of propagation ever, and if you grow on more than you need the surplus plants make good presents for other gardeners.

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                  • #10
                    I had vine weevils on house leek and made my own pesticide from tobacco waste.
                    I went equipped with a gas meter key and a bucket and emptied several outside ash trays.
                    I made this into a thick soup and screened off all the plastic filters sending them to land fill.
                    A good drenching with this put a stop to the problem in short order.
                    The soup ferments if stored and lasts about a year but new supplies are easy to come by. If you find a location where "naughty tobacco" is smoked there is another active ingredient in it too.
                    The plants just grow on the extra humus that gets through the screen so you can miss a dose of grow more.
                    No problem on my plot this year because I acquired four estate car loads of soil and root balls from the land lord of two houses. His tenants were naughty farmers so the other active ingredient is present in my soil this year.

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