The Q&A Archives: Rhododendron Pest

Question: Something is eating my rhododendron. What could it be and how do I control it?

Answer: You didn't give many clues as to the symptoms your plant has, but rhodies are often plagued by root weevils. These critters live in the soil during the day and the adults feed on the leaves at night. They crawl up the stems of the plant and make notches around the leaf edges when they feed. The larvae feed on roots. If the infestation is great, a lot of damage can be done to the plant. You can check to see if the weevils are feeding by going out at night with a flashlight to inspect your plant. Hand pick the critters, or put a barrier of 'Tanglefoot' at the base of your plant. Just place a cardboard or paper strip around the stem of the plant and smear it with Tanglefoot. Any weevils attempting to crawl up the stem will become hopelessly stuck in the trap.

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