Strawberry root weevil complex 
Cribrate weevil: Otiorhynchus cribricollis
Woods weevil: Nemocestes incomptus
Black vine weevil: Otiorhynchus sulcatus
Fuller rose weevil: Pantomorus cervinus 
(Coleoptera: Curculionidae)


Adult root weevils are snout beetles of various species. They are light brown to black in color, and all possess hard-shelled bodies with rows of pits on the elytra. They feed at night and hide within the crowns of plants during the day. Root weevil adults do not fly. Root weevil larvae have curved, white or pink bodies that are about 0.38 inch long (nearly 10 mm)when fully grown. They have distinct brown heads, but no legs.

Biology and damage:

Larvae feed on the roots of strawberry plants and can completely devour small rootlets and destroy the bark and cortex of larger roots. Injured plants often wilt because the roots can no longer provide moisture for leaves. Weevil larvae can also be found burrowed into the lower portion of the plant's crown. Adults feed on foliage and remove large scallops from the leaves. Such leaf damage is a good indication that weevils are present, but is not economically damaging to the plants. 
Root weevils have a single generation each year (Davidson & Lyon 1987). The flightless adult females reproduce parthenogenetically. Adults emerge in late spring or summer, feed on strawberry foliage, and females lay their eggs around the crowns about 1 month after emergence. After hatching, weevil larvae burrow into the soil and feed on strawberry roots and crowns. The insects overwinter as mature larvae in the soil. In spring, they resume feeding and can cause extensive damage before they pupate.


Chemical treatment is not needed each and every year since these flightless beetles are slow to colonize a field. Controls are now directed against adults while they are feeding on crop foliage (see postharvest spray).  Formerly, surface soil treatment with Furadan 4 F where root weevil has been a problem was effective for controlling this pest, applied in Virginia between harvest and October 1. However the 24(c) registration for this use was voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturer in the winter of 1996-1997. The USEPA  authorized FMC Corporation to sell and distribute carbofuran for use on strawberries until 5/14/98. Growers and distributors may use existing stocks until they are depleted.

Virginia commercial small fruit guidelines
Virginia home spray guidelines 
California guidelines 
Very few natural enemies. 
Crop rotation. Avoid planting strawberries after sod. Delay plowing until fall in order to use old planting as a trap crop for weevil oviposition. Sticky barriers can be used to prevent movement of adult weevils from infested second year berries and host areas to newly fumigated plantings.