Garlic Weevil (Brachycerus algirus): [Characteristics, Detection, Effects and Treatment]

What is the garlic weevil?

The insect commonly called the garlic weevil, with the scientific name Brachycerus algirus, is a member of the Curculionidae superfamily, related to the herbivorous beetle family.

These tiny invaders, which, as has already been identified, belong to the Curculionidae, are just a sample of the immense variety of animal species quantified in about 5,489 different genera and 86,100 species that live everywhere, throughout the world.

Its larvae are very destructive if they are allowed to acquire pest behavior, because they live placidly in the bulb of the plant, from where they take away all the nutrients they need to grow.

The problem for the good health of garlic crops is exacerbated in the spring, when the larvae lay their eggs on the leaves and begin to invade the bulb of the plant, triggering considerable damage if the behavior becomes pest-like.

How can we identify it?

  1. This small beetle barely measures between 3-4 mm.
  2. It has a blackish brown color, with white spots on the elytra.
  3. Its larvae measure just 1 cm, are white, very fleshy and legless.
  4. They have a great activity inside the bulb, after they burst when the spawns are born on the leaves.
  5. In the so-called pupation phase, they live inside the part close to the root crown, at the end of the summer season.

What plants does the garlic weevil affect?

It particularly affects garlic crops, although in general terms this species suffers from practically the same pests and diseases that attack onions.

Garlic is an ancient seasoning. Its presence is located in the dressings of the Greeks and Indians, 3,000 years BC, but it is believed that it originates from Asia, central-south region.

From there it went to the Mediterranean region, later managing to position itself worldwide as a must in the preparation of all kinds of dishes.

The Spanish, back in the fifteenth century, took it to the American continent, where it conquered everyone’s kitchen.But although it is a rustic plant, it is often the victim of annoying pests that retard its growth and destroy its bulbs. The Brachycerus algirus shows no mercy and eats leaves and bulbs.

The larva of this weevil usually attacks many other lilacs as well.

How to combat the garlic weevil?

There are several prevention protocols that we must use when cultivating this powerful crop with great beneficial properties for people’s health.

Eliminate weeds

It has the advantage that, thanks to its morphological characteristics, it occupies little land, so it is manageable even when this favors the proliferation of weeds that can reduce its development.

They must be eliminated as soon as they appear with a good manual weeding and herbicides, a practice that must be maintained regularly.

Recommended Associations

A very important recommendation is that, as happens with any lilac, garlic can never be planted behind garlic, onions and neither beans, beets, peas, broad beans, spinach, alfalfa, nor after a fruit plantation has been uprooted. and a vineyard.

Preceding crops such as lettuce, cabbage, peppers, barley, squash, potatoes and wheat are favorable.


Another peculiarity of this crop is that the irrigations have to be spaced, because they are not essential to maintain the good health of the plant. Quite the contrary.

However, they should be run with spray and gravity techniques when springs are dry and winters are mild. And on loose ground.

But in general terms, the water needs are low, from the moment the shoots appear until the time of bulbification. If there is a good rainy period, it will be enough for the bulbs to form normally.In fact, irrigation is not necessary about two weeks before harvesting.


A good natural solution that prevents major illnesses with this and other insects, consists in the elaboration of a preparation based on bay leaves and neem.Ideally, get fresh bay leaves and / or neem, which are prepared as follows:

  1. Use around 300 grams of the tender leaf of either of the two species, for every 10 liters of water that are prepared for the spraying day.
  2. If the leaves are dry, but still fragrant, then 200 grams is used for the same amount of water.
  3. They should be cut in half and then put into a large container.
  4. Boil a 5th part of the total water and add it to the container with neem and/or bay leaves.
  5. Cover and let stand. The difference in water is then added and stored in a cool, dark place.
  6. After two days, the mixture should be strained and then it will be ready to keep in the refrigerator. It lasts intact for about a month.
  7. When this preparation is to be used, it is applied to the leaves of the affected plants with the help of a spray -type container, diluted of course in water.
  8. What experts recommend is spraying in the late afternoon, every 3 days.

What are the best products to eliminate garlic weevils?

There are several control methods of a chemical nature. Insecticides that by the way should only be used if the plague is out of control and natural options do not work.

When annoying intruders appear, such as Brachycerus algirus, this evil can be treated with the COMPO Soil Insects product. It is used after burying it in the plant substrate.

It is a granular insecticide based on Chlorpyrifos at 5%.Other recommended components when a chemical type fight has to be undertaken are:

  • Carbaryl 50% PM, between 200-250 g/Hl.
  • Endosulfan 35% LE, between 150-300 cc/Hl.
  • Trichlorfon 80% PM, between 250-300 g/Hl.
  • Methyl-azinphos 20% LE, at 150-250 cc/Hl.
  • Ethyl-parathion 50% LE, at 150 cc/Hl.
  • Methamidophos 50% LE, at 100 cc/Hl.
  • Phosmet 50% LE, at 250 cc/Hl.

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