Residents of Washington are known to have a green thumb. Between the local Community Garden Projects and yearly events to help the environment, it’s probably no surprise to see beautiful gardens filled with delicious fruits and vegetables. In honor of Pick Strawberries Day on May 20th, we’re showing you the most common strawberry pests and how you can keep them away.
Common Strawberry Pests in Your Garden
Strawberry Bud Weevils
Known also as strawberry clippers, these tiny insects feed on the pollen within the strawberry flower buds. Afterward, the females lay their eggs within the buds for the hatching larvae to feed on and destroy the blossoms. Look for weevils once your plants form buds, and remove any infested buds to prevent further contamination.
Cyclamen mites range in color from white to brown and feed on the sap within the plants. They destroy both the leaves and the flowers and cause massive plant death in high numbers. You can spray the undersides of the leaves to knock off the mites, but it may take professional exterminators to eradicate heavy infestations.
Leaf and Root Aphids
Leaf aphids penetrate the leaves and suck out the sap from your strawberry plants. These devastating pests also transmit plant diseases that can wipe out an entire garden. Root aphids also feed on sap and weaken the plant. You can avoid strawberry root aphids by planting in humus soil or near rhubarb.
Slugs come out at night and in moist weather to feed on your strawberries. They also leave behind slimy trails and ruin your plants’ appearance. Remove fallen leaves, heavy mulch, and other excess debris from around your plants to take away the slugs’ hiding spots. You can also avoid slug infestations by watering your strawberry plants less frequently.
Tarnished Plant Bugs
These winged insects lay their eggs on your strawberry plants in the spring. Once the eggs hatch, the tiny nymphs feed on the newly developing seeds and blossoms. Remove weeds from your garden to eliminate their wintering sites.
Professional Strawberry Pest Control
If strawberry pests take over your garden, contact Western Exterminator for a free inspection. Our certified and experienced team can determine the cause of the infestation, apply environmentally friendly removal methods and use preventative techniques to ensure a pest-free garden this year.