Carrots

What is the carrot weevil? Tips for controlling carrot weevil in the garden

Carrot weevils are small beetles that have a great appetite for carrots and related plants. Once established, these insects can devastate your carrot, celery and parsley crops. Read on to learn more about carrot weevil management.

What is the carrot weevil?

Carrot weevils are snout beetles that like to eat members of the carrot family. They feed during the warm months and then spend the winter hiding in topsoil and in weeds, grass and debris left in the garden. If you have them one year, you can expect them back the following year.

Because they overwinter where carrots grew the previous year, crop rotation is an important part of the carrot weevil control strategy. Move your carrots each year and wait at least three years before growing them in the same location. At the same time, keep the garden clean and weed-free to eliminate some of your favourite hiding places.

Adult beetles feed on plant foliage. Women put

eggs in the roots of the carrot with a small puncture. If you see a small dark spot on a carrot, rub it and look for a wound underneath. If you see a puncture wound, you can be sure that there are carrot weevil larvae tunneling into the root. The larvae are white C-shaped larvae with a brown head. Their feeding activity can weaken and kill the carrot. The damage caused by the corer makes the roots inedible.

Control of Organic Carrot Weevil

There are many biological strategies to control the carrot weevil. So you will probably never have to spray toxic chemical insecticides to get rid of it. Traps are effective in trapping the larvae. You can buy them at a garden centre or make your own with masonry pots and paper cups.

Put a few slices of carrots in the bottom of a masonry jar as bait. Drill holes in the bottom of a plastic-coated paper cup and place it in the opening of the jar. Larvae can fall through the holes but cannot get out. Another option is to push a bait cup into the garden soil so that the opening is level with the soil surface. Add soapy water to the cup. The corer larvae drown when they fall in.

The milk spore and Bacillus thuringiensis are organisms that kill larvae such as the carrot weevil without harming people, the environment or animals. These totally safe products are very effective when applied early, but do not kill older larvae. You may continue to see larvae for some time because they do not die immediately. Use neem sprays on older larvae.

Simply keep the garden clean and weed-free, rotate carrot crops, use traps and beneficials to control the carrot weevil. If you are still having problems, check with your garden centre to see if there are any insecticides labelled for pest control. Remember that systemic chemical insecticides also kill beneficial insects and can cause more problems than they solve.

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