Black Vine Weevil
Attribution: BJ Schoenmakers, [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
About 1/5-inch long
The black vine weevil is a little larger than the strawberry root weevil but the two are difficult to tell apart. Adult weevils feed at night on many different plants. The black vine weevil larvae feed on the target plant’s roots. The biology and habits are likely similar to those of the strawberry root weevil, but the black vine weevil feeding on more different plant types, including several different varieties of ivy (e.g. English ivy) commonly used in landscaping. Large populations of these weevils can severely damage and even kill affected plants. This weevil cannot fly and disperses by crawling which often brings them wandering into homes and other buildings. In some cases, large numbers of weevils may be discovered crawling on floors, walls and even ceilings.
This weevil is found in many areas of the United States, including most of California. It is a pest of many plants including strawberries, blueberries, rhododendrons, azaleas, yews (Taxus spp.), camellias, many types of ivy and other plants.
Black vine weevils depend on their host plants to survive, so long-term relief from infestations depends on the homeowner’s willingness to replace such plants in the landscaping. Short-term relief depends on targeted treatments around the building applied by a pest management professional.