Yew: Root weevils

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Yew Yew Insects

revision date: 2023-04-04 12:00

Close-up of spruce needles showing tip damage.
White pine weevil damage on spruce close-up
Photo by: C.G. Landgren


Root weevil larvae feed on the roots and bark of plants near the crown. The white grubs are found in the soil around the roots. Larval feeding can cause significant damage, sometimes resulting in girdling of roots or crown and causing decline or death of the plant. Adult black vine weevils (one species of root weevil) may feed on yew foliage, but cause little damage. Symptoms of adult feeding include needles that are notched or cut off. Adult root weevils range in size from 1⁄4″ to 1⁄2″ long. They are brownish to black, flightless beetles which climb into the foliage to feed at night.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Hand-pick and kill night-feeding adults when practical.
  • Apply beneficial nematodes which kill weevil larvae. The nematodes are used as a soil drench in moist soils over 55° F (mid-fall in western Washington). Read and follow the label directions carefully.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Adult control should begin when adults emerge late May-June or when first signs of notching occur in spring.
  • Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall.
  • Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.

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