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Pea Leaf Weevil

Sitona lineatus

Pea Leaf Weevil

A close up of a Sitona lineatus pea leaf weevil on a leaf
Sitona.gressorius.7385 by olei@despammed.com (CC BY-SA 2.5)
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The Pea Leaf Weevil is a beetle found in Europe and North America. They are common in gardens and allotments, especially if peas and beans are grown. Pea Leaf Weevils are mild pests in gardens because they typically target the leaves of the crop, rarely touching the edible plant parts. Younger, slow-growing plants are most at risk. Weevil larvae live within the soil media, specifically favouring the roots of leguminous species such as red and white clover. This is where they can be the most damaging.
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Traits

They nibble at leaves leaving irregular 'U' shaped notches.
Plant retain full health in most cases.

Appearance

Adults: Pea leaf weevils are incredibly similar to other Weevils in the Sitona genus. They're small (0.5cm) with brown bodies covered in alternating light and dark vertical stripes. Larvae: The larvae are creamy-white legless grubs with brown heads. They feed on the root nodules, so may be seen in the soil. Eggs: The eggs are so tiny that they probably to small to see with the human eye. Eggs are laid on the surface of the soil near the base of the host plant.

Symptoms

U shaped notches in plant leaves. Maggot-like larvae may be seen in the soil media. Sudden loss in vigour. Wilting and death of seedlings. Older plants can withstand damage.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Curculionidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Asia, Europe and Northern Africa and North America

Biological treatment

Good plant care is the best thing you can do to avoid any serious damage when planting younger seedlings. Ensure seedlings are healthy so that they have a better chance at resisting damage. You can cover plants with fleece to give them a chance to outgrow any damage. Row covers or insect-proof mesh covering seedlings can offer some protection from pests. Plastic bottles cut in half can also be used. Keep plants well-watered so they can quickly grow when they're less established. Provide space for beneficial insects in the garden by incorporating climbing plants, hanging baskets, long grasses and native wildflowers. If possible, try to mow less often, or keep an area of lawn longer than the rest.

Chemical treatment

It's not advised to treat plants for pea and bean weevil chemically. If a chemical option is sought, check with your local garden centre and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use. Organic pesticides containing pyrethrins may be appropriate but be sure that your crop is listed as suitable in the instructions if you intend to eat it.

Attracts

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