Maybe There Is Hope For Purple Splendour!
Lisena and Mervin Vater, Springfield, Oregon
Early last year, Harry Bell of Oregon State University asked if he could use our garden for the study of weevils in conjunction with writing his thesis for his Master's Degree in Entomology. His experiments included a myriad of traps, and visits to our garden one or two nights a week from early summer to the middle of October. During this time we were unable to use any kind of pesticides (so we wouldn't spoil his experiments). You can well imagine how, many "lacy" plants we have!
One night it was especially hard to take when Harry explained that he was gathering weevils, marking them with dye, and turning them loose again. This he was doing to study their migratory habits. He found only one that moved about 50 feet. All the rest stayed quite close to their established areas. We are surrounded by many evergreen and other native trees and underbrush. Bell set up traps in these areas to see if weevils were migrating from these areas into our garden. Basically all that was migrating were slugs and snails. We might add that he found every variety of weevil that likes to chew on rhododendrons on our property.