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All my strawberry plants (in mini-raised beds) have died. The roots have been eaten through and, when sifting carefully through the compost, I found dozens of tiny white grubs. I've also found dozens - if not hundreds - of these things in tubs and pots where various flowers and shrubs have also died. The grubs are about a quarter of an inch long (about 70mm), pure white, slightly curved, no antenna but have legs at the front segment. They look like tiny albino shrimps. I've looked up vine weevil, but those seem to have brown heads. I do have a problem with chafer grubs, but those are much bigger & fatter and also have brownish heads. I suppose the little ones could be baby chafer grubs, but since there's virtually no variation in size, seems pretty unlikely. Any suggestions gratefully received, before I lose all my container-grown plants!



sounds like first stage vine weevils to be honest. They develop the brown head as they get older.

It has been a mild winter and I have found at least 5 adult vine weevils in the last month.

17 Apr, 2014


And, once again, they adore peat based compost. Have you got this in your containers?

17 Apr, 2014


Thanks for these helpful comments. I didn't know much about vine weevils, to be honest, except that they're horrible little pests. Now that I know a) they don't have brown heads in the early stages and b) they love peat, I am a little better armed. Thanks again.

18 Apr, 2014


See if you can find images of the pupal stage of the vine weevil, they are creamy white all over with legs all hunched in.
I had no idea what they were the first time I found them, and hoped they were baby bees or something equally precious. I was miffed when I identified them...

18 Apr, 2014


Thank you, teadrinker. Like you, I tend to let things live if I don't recognise them as pests. (That's how I managed to acquire a huge infestation of chafer grubs!) Maybe I should be a little more cynical in future. Anyway, now that I know, I shall a) try some nematodes (does anyone have any experience of these?) and b) be a little more vigilant. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do with a large bag of used compost which, tho' I've sifted through it as best I can, probably still contains plenty of eggs/pupae?

23 Apr, 2014


I sprinkle the compost on the borders under the tree and the birds pick over it and I assume eat any grubs I've missed. as the border is very dry soil the plants that are there don't seem to have any problems.

23 Apr, 2014


Great idea! Thanks for that.

24 Apr, 2014

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