8 November 1996

Leaf weevil larvae damage in Norfolk

LEAF weevil larvae have hit winter barley in Norfolk, cutting through young shoots and causing yellowing.

But there are no label-recommended controls for the green-bridge pest, and feeding should stop as temperatures fall, says ADAS.

Attacks, easily mistaken for those of slugs and leatherjackets, can be diagnosed by unearthing the 5-10mm (0.2-0.4in) long creamy white, brown-headed grubs.

Using approved soil acting insecticides for cereals is unlikely to prove economic except in cases of extreme damage or where redrilling is needed, advises ADAS.

"As a pest it is sporadic and tends to be light-soil specific," says Wolverhampton-based entomologist Alan Lane. "The main message is to identify what you have." Slugs and leatherjackets may still merit treatment even at low temperatures, he explains. &#42