Skip to main content
Harper Adams University logo


    'Catch me if you can' – improving monitoring and control of black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) in soft fruit and ornamental crops


    The aim of this project is to leverage and combine the outputs of previous work conducted by project partners to develop a fully integrated management strategy for vine weevil, a persistent serious pest of soft fruit, ornamental and nursery plants internationally, including Ireland and Britain. Existing vine weevil traps have been tested and evaluated in previous studies by the project partners. In this project novel trap designs will be created through computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printing technologies that for the first time will allow trap designs to be assessment and optimised in a systematic way, drawing on existing knowledge and research in this area. As such the project will optimise trap designs to be used for vine weevil monitoring, and potentially the mass trapping of this pest. To improve the attractiveness of the trap, state of the art chemical ecology approaches will be deployed to identify attractants and repellents of adult weevils. Primarily the focus will be to identify host and nonhost volatiles, as well as an aggregation pheromone associated with vine weevil adults, but not previously identified. Finally, several near to market biopesticides will be evaluated under laboratory, semi-field and field conditions in order to determine their ability to control adult vine weevil used instead of or alongside existing synthteic insecticide options. This work will include azadirachtin, which has been shown to instigate sterility in adult vine weevil adults under laboratory conditions but has yet to be tested under semi-field or field conditions against this pest. Where appropriate effective biopesticides will be tested against other key pests affecting these crops, such as spotted wing drosophila (SWD). The project outputs will create new and novel control approaches for the adult weevil, reducing pressure from this persistent and economically damaging pest of high-value crops.


    Project objectives are:

    1. Improve the sensitivity and reliability of traps to detect the presence of adult vine weevil
    2. Identify behaviourally active volatile compounds that may be used to manipulate vine weevil
    3. Test registered and near to market biopesticides for use as vine weevil controls
    4. Combine the approaches above into an effective IPM approach to vine weevil management
    5. To develop a highly trained entomological scientist capable of independent research

    Funding Body

    Teagasc - Walsh Scholarship Programme

    Lead Organisation



    Harper Adams University

    Cookies on the Harper Adams University website

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.