Seed Weevils

Asked May 15, 2013, 7:28 PM EDT

On your web page about Scotch broom http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/1049 You talk about using Seed Weevils as an alternative way of ridding us of Scotch Broom: this article was from 2009, it's now spring 2013. I want to know how is this working? What keeps these weevils from eating the seeds of other plants? We have an infestation going on of Scotch Broom this spring and I'd like to know what, if anything, is being doing by the state or county to kid us of Scotch broom without also killing the trillium, the salal, Solomon seals, etc. and there's the vine maples, too. The images I found of these weevils, grown, look a lot like those shield bugs we were being told about last season. What's the status of those bugs now?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Hello and thanks for your question. Even though the fact sheet is from a few years ago, it still applies in 2013. The seed weevils (sometimes available through the Oregon Department of Agriculture) are still one of the better treatments, exactly because the insects have been screened to attack almost exclusively the Scotch broom. When they are available, they reduce the reproductive capacity of the broom. Other ways of treating are to pull the adult and young plants with a weed wrench. Sometimes, burning is allowed, and at other times herbicides are used. The strategy depends on the individual circumstances. Sometimes assistance is available from your local Soil and Water Conservation office, so you might check into this possibility. Linda