Azalea (Rhododendron)-Root weevil

Numerous species in several genera, including Nemocestes, Sciaphilus, Sciopithes, Strophosoma, and Trachyphloeus

Pest description and damage Identification is important: species differ in susceptibility to pesticides. Adult weevils are small dark beetles with a snout (rostrum) and elbowed antennae. They cannot fly so distribution is generally through movement of infested plants, soil or debris. Also, the adults of most of the species are all females and capable of laying eggs after a period of feeding to mature their ovaries. They are slow moving and should not be confused with swifter predacious ground beetles. Larvae, found around roots, are C-shaped, legless, and white, or slightly reddish, with tan heads, up to 0.5 inch in size. All species are quite similar in appearance and habits of feeding on root hairs, then larger roots and finally the root crown. Adult weevils are night feeders that mostly remain in the soil or in debris at the base of the plant during the day. At night, they may climb up to feed on leaves. Look for ragged notches on the edges of leaves, or flower petals or dead tips of plants where weevils have girdled the twig (yew, juniper, rockrose, etc.).

For biology, life history, monitoring and management

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