What Is Eating My Strawberries (11 Possible Culprits)?
When investing in growing strawberries, it is evident that you would want to eat them first. As they continue to ripe, virtually everything that moves will try very hard to be the first to eat these strawberries. Most of them manage it because they search at night while people are sleeping. Strawberries are often picked out of the vine to uncover several smaller holes, one deep hole, or drained dry berry juices, making them mush. This can be realized by knowing what is eating my strawberries. Here are some of what eats them.
What Is Eating My Strawberries?
Presumably, all kinds of birds are responsible for eating strawberries. You'll find small ones like crows, blue jays, and robins that often eat strawberries. If you want to keep them from getting close to your strawberries, there are a few things you can do to scare them off. Hang the metal strips or candy boxes next to strawberries, and this will scare them for a while.
Squirrels can eat strawberries, and you can find them in many places. If you find that the berries have been eaten or missing, you need to consider whether the squirrel population is becoming a problem. Once you have noticed a significant issue with your strawberries, you can call the pest control company. Squirrels are difficult to get rid of entirely because of their number, and in some places, there is a need to think about relocating them.
Cockroaches deeply eat strawberries, and within no time, you will find there is no berry. When they eat them, it's easy to know the holes they are leaving. A quick and effective solution to prevent the cockroaches from damaging the strawberries is to use diatomaceous earth around the strawberries. It is known for destroying their exoskeletons and finally kill them. To keep them out of your yard, minimize mulch and limit the space where they can live in. Their favorite habitat is under piles of wood and rocks.
Raccoons also love to eat strawberries once they get a chance of doing so. These animals look for food and may try to eat the garbage as well. You can often find raccoons in properties, looking for food. If they find strawberries, that will be their final place to live.
Most of the time, deer love eating strawberries and are happy when they find the strawberry plants in the garden. If they are close to the yard, no berry will be left if they invade your garden. It should be noted that deer are often terrified and do not approach people. You will discover that they have eaten the strawberries when you are not available or during the night.
6. Tarnished plant bugs
These bugs also called Lygus bugs that attack the strawberries, which cause abnormal fruit growth. The most incredible damage is usually seen on the berry tips, where holes have been made in the fruits to suck out seeds. They feed on all parts of the strawberry plant. Every time they pierce the fruit skin, they release a toxin, which causes deformation.
Nymphs do the most damage. The tarnished plant bugs have a brown color with yellow spots, which is a quarter inch long. They are most active in spring and winter when looking for fruits to lay eggs there. The nymphs are wingless and green, where they begin feeding in mid-May and continue throughout the season.
They overeat in winter and begin the cycle in early spring next year. Adult tarnished plant bugs are resistant to insecticides; therefore, the best method of preventing them is to grow strawberries under the cloche. Also, you can treat nymphs using insecticides.
Strawberry fields come with many slugs. They dig holes deep in the fruit and hide during the day under the mulch bed they feed at night. Wherever you grow strawberries, expect regular snail patrols. You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the plants as a deterrent. This is because the snails don't close to them due to their sharpness.
Placing snail bait pallets early in the season may reduce the population by killing young snails that emerge from eggs in the ground in early spring. Another effective method is to place beer traps on the floor in line with the soil. The smell of beer's yeast attracts snails where they will fall into a bowl and drown.
8. Strawberry bug weevils
Strawberry bug weevils are also called strawberry clippers. They are reddish-brown and are known for their black spots on the backs and a curved snout. These insects are a problem to the strawberries in early spring and generally eat the strawberry pollen from the flower buds.
It's frustrating that these insects lay just one egg in the flower bud, preventing berry production. You must remove all the contaminated buds in the plants, as they cannot be saved. In general, to eliminate strawberry bug weevils' problems, it is necessary to apply an insecticidal soap along with the strawberry plant.
The spittlebugs are easy to spot since they leave a bubbly foam on the strawberry tree base. These insects cannot kill a strawberry tree, but that does not mean that they are harmless. If you have an intense spittlebug infection, it prevents your plants from growing. Fortunately, you can eliminate these minor bugs by making a hot peppery spray or homemade garlic spray.
10. Strawberry sap beetle
After all, the strawberries can be eaten by strawberry sap beetles. Typically, these little insects are below an eighth of an inch long and are dark. Sometimes these strawberry sap beetles also have orange or yellow spots. The adult one pierces the berries of plants and eats all parts of them. The holes left by these insects are usually very small, but they can cause the fruit to rot. To prevent strawberry sap beetles problems from becoming too irritating, it is recommended to harvest the berries once they ripen.
11. Strawberry crown borers
The strawberry crown borers are wingless beetles that are 4mm tall and dark brown. They do not do more harm to strawberries but is it their larvae that do that. The beetle makes small holes with its snout in the plant's crown. Then they lay their eggs there. The strawberry crown borers are usually dormant on the ground and become active in early March.
These borers will drill a hole in a crown and lay an egg. Generally, a spot can have one egg or even more. However, one egg is enough to create a problem though. Strawberry crown borer larvae are white with about one-fifth of an inch long. When they eat, they sink into the crown and leave small holes with a diameter of about 6 mm. The pupa appears in late summer.
Adult borers hatch in August and beyond and go hibernation on the ground or under the debris the subsequent March to repeat this cycle. The best defense for identifying them is a deep hole through the plant crown.
Various insects and animals eat strawberries, and it may take some time to locate these culprits. Explore the location and see if you see any of them. Most of these insects and animals that eat strawberries are easy to control, while others are more problematic. Do the best and make the right decision to protect the strawberries better.