Recognizing Rhubarb-Curculio
Garden Beetles



To identify the rhubarb-curculio or snout-beetle as it is otherwise known, you would immediately recognize the yellow material on the back. This material actually comes off if touched.

The head literally has a curved snout and mandibles for chewing. This beetle generally lives in protected areas like old debris or other surrounding plants near the rhubarb. It is approximately a half inch in size, which makes them not too difficult to spot.

During the Spring, the eggs are laid in host plants. When rhubarb is occasionally attacked, the stalks will leak sap. Decay takes place because of the egg laying holes that are made and because of the bugs feeding.

The eggs are long and yellow but do not usually hatch on the rhubarb which is a good thing. Eggs deposited in the rhubarb are usually crushed by the plant growth around them.

In other plants the newly hatched larvae make their way to the bottom of the stalks so that when they become adults, they have made it to the bottom of the plant just below the surface of the ground.

Curculio-pupation usually takes place in about 8 weeks, and surprisingly, only one grub in any one plant makes it to maturity.

Within a few more weeks, the adult garden beetles emerge and begin to feed.

Soon they begin to look for a place to live protected from the winter.

And so the cycle goes on, but only for one generation.

It makes sense to remove all surrounding plants around your rhubarb especially during the month of July as this is about the time the larvae will be present.

This action is the best plan of attack against these insects that can really do damage your garden.


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