The black vine weevil is a serious pest in nurseries and established landscape plantings. A native of Europe, this species was first reported in Connecticut in 1910. This key pest is the most destructive and widely distributed species of root weevils in the genus Otiorhynchus. Adults and larvae prefer rhododendron, Rhododendron spp., yew, Taxus spp., euonymus, Euonymus spp., and Japanese holly, Ilex crenata. Larvae also feed on the roots of hemlock, Tsuga spp. This pest has been recorded on more than 100 species of cultivated and wild plants. Some landscape pest managers refer to this insect as the taxus weevil.
Injury caused by the larval stage feeding on the roots is highly destructive to plants. Feeding by larvae occurs from mid-summer through fall and in early spring. At first larvae feed on small tender roots, but in early spring, they move to the bark of large roots or the stem, sometimes completely girdling them. Damage to roots may go undetected in container-grown plants in nurseries, but infested plants that are placed in landscapes often die. Injury caused by adults is in the form of marginal notching of broadleaved evergreen foliage and other host plants. The marginal notching of the foliage seldom impacts plant health, even though it may be extensive.