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I have discovered a lot of these larvae in the soil in a large plant pot after removing a woody plant that had recently died. I’ve also found a few in other plant pots in the garden. Does anyone know what they are? I particularly need to work out if they killed the plant or if it’s just coincidence.

They were found in a garden in South East London, UK.

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They look like the pupal stage of vine weevil larvae I'm afraid, and they do eat plant roots - did you notice any notched holes on leaves of plants in the pots, previously or now? These sorts of holes (usually round the edges of plant leaves) are typical of adult vine weevil. Either way,they are not something you want in your pots; you can use a nematode treatment mixed in water in a can and applied as a drench to the soil in all your pots (Nemesys vine weevil killer). These are usually ordered on line because they have a finite life span; they should be used when the air and soil temperature is high enough, and it is now in the UK. Image of adult vine weevil and information here https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=234

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  • Thank you - now I’m looking at the pupal stage images on that link I think you’re right! It was mainly an apple-like fruit bush in that pot and I remember the leaves being eaten a bit last year. This year it started to bud early March and then suddenly completely died mid March, which I now assume was due to the roots being eaten by the larvae. I’ve found them in 2 other pots as well so I’ve ordered the nematodes and will treat all my pots at once just to be safe. Thanks for your help. – Matt Apr 25 at 7:45
  • Note that nematodes don't kill the adult beetles, only the larvae in the soil, so you will likely need to retreat later on. – Bamboo Apr 25 at 10:32
  • @Bamboo, Thanks for recommending the nematode treatment, I am going crazy trying to stop amidacloprid drenching for curl grubs. – Polypipe Wrangler Apr 25 at 11:24
  • Yes, best avoided if at all possible! – Bamboo Apr 25 at 11:43

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