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Clematis Black Beetles

Hundreds of different varieties of clematis grow worldwide in a variety of climates. Most clematis are vines that grow pastel flowers. The clematis is susceptible to a variety of pests including black beetles and black beetle-like insects that can cause damage to the roots, stems, leaves and flowers.
  1. Blister Beetle

    • Blister beetles come in many varieties and can be black, brown or gray. They may also have yellow or black stripes. The blister beetle has a long, slim body, and eats flowers and leaves from many plants, including the clematis. These beetles secrete a substance that causes human skin to blister, so they should be handled with gloves. Adult blister beetles tend to appear in early summer and can be found in swarms.

    Japanese Weevil

    • The Japanese weevil is beetle-like in appearance and can be light brown, dark brown, gray or black. It may have white spots and a brown or black stripe across its back. The larva of this weevil feeds on the roots of the host plant while adults will feed on new leaves and shoots, which can threaten the health of the clematis. The Japanese weevil cannot fly and can be found in the eastern and southern United States as well as certain parts of the Midwest.

    Clematis Borer

    • The clematis borer is a type of clearwing borer that infests clematis plants. Clearwing borers feed on host plants and may cause damage or death. The clematis borer is 2/3-inches long. Larva are white, and feed on the crowns of vines and on the clematis roots. Larva from the borer should be dug out of the clematis, and insecticides such as Methoxychlor should be sprayed around the base of the plant and onto the surrounding soil.


    • Earwigs will feed on clematis flowers and can also attack other plants in the garden. Earwigs are reddish brown or reddish black in color and are 3/4-inches long. They have cerci, which look like pinchers, that they use to capture prey, defend themselves and explore their environment. Earwigs dig small holes in plants. Though a single earwig will not harm a grown clematis, a large infestation can weaken the plant and lead to its death. Earwigs can also severely damage shoots and seedlings.