Apart from growing and providing food and water for your plant, an important work of a gardener is to protect the plants and fruits in his garden.
This can range from easy to difficult depending on what type of bugs you are dealing with, what part of the plant they feed on, and the time you begin the protection process. Bugs come in different types; the ones that feed on fruits and the ones that feed on other parts of the plant.
Strawberry plants attract a variety of bugs, due to their nutritious components, juiciness, and sweet taste; both the ones that feed on its fruits and those that feed on other parts of the plant.
Because of this peculiarity, keeping bugs away in totality from your strawberries can be a challenging task to perform.
Knowing what types of bugs are attracted to your strawberry farm can help you eradicate them on time. Common bugs for strawberries include mites, worms, fleas, Lygus bugs, sap beetles, aphids, earwigs, cyclamen mites, tortrix moths, leaf beetles, birds, etc.
A common mistake a lot of people do is to try to get rid of these with the use of chemical insecticides, the danger of this is that chemical insecticides if used on your fruits, can damage your fruits or leave traces of chemical substances on them, which are harmful to humans when consumed.
How Do I Keep Bugs From Eating My Strawberries?
The most effective and healthy means to get rid of bugs off your strawberry plants is to make use of non-organic ways. Lucky for you, we know some ways and we’re willing to show you.
Prevention includes protecting your strawberries before these bugs get to them. This might mean protecting them from their first sprout because bugs attack at every stage of growth.
An efficient method of preventing bugs on your plant is the use of floating row covers to cover your strawberry plants, during the summer; this will prevent insects from laying eggs on them.
Another effective way of protecting your strawberry plant is to apply essential oils, such as neem or peppermint oil; this will help in repelling most bugs.
2. Dish Soap
Although a single remedy cannot work for all bugs, most bugs can be controlled by the use of a mix of dish soap and water; simple yet effective.
Mix your dish soap and water in a spray bottle and spray on the strawberry plants; this will kill bugs on contact. With this, you can be sure your strawberries will grow bug-free.
Some bugs are very specific to strawberries. These bugs only attack strawberries and can cause a lot of damage to your strawberries. These bugs require specific care and attention. Below are a few of them and how to get rid of them.
3. Cyclamen Mites
Cyclamen mites are a common harmful strawberry bug; it is also common for gerbera, cyclamen, and other ornamental plants. These tiny black bugs (sometimes brown or white) belong to the family of tarsonemidae and are known to feed on plants, causing great damage to their host.
These bugs feast on the strawberry flowers, leaves, and stem until there is nothing left of the strawberry.
Getting rid of cyclamen mites can be challenging, a combination of soap and water, vinegar, and essential oil can repel and reduce their activities on your strawberries, however, it is somewhat impossible to be rid of them except the whole yard Is purged.
4. Strawberry Bud Weevils
These are sometimes called strawberry clippers or black bugs. Strawberry bud weevils are about 1/10 inch long, they come in reddish-brown color, alongside black patches on their backs. These bugs are peculiar to the strawberry and cause a lot of damage to the plant and fruits.
Strawberry bud weevils are mostly found in early spring, they make use of their snouts to clip the flower buds and feed on the pollen, hereby stopping the buds from blooming.
In cases where your strawberry plants fail to bloom or their buds disappear, you might have a strawberry clippers problem.
Good news? Although it might be challenging, it is possible. The first and most important thing to do in getting rid of a problem is to know the source and reason for the problem, the same works for bugs and strawberry gardens.
- The most effective way to rid your plant of this weevil is to inspect your plant once it begins to form buds. Remove infected buds as well as buds that might have fallen to the ground; this is to prevent them from infecting others.
- Spraying your plant with a mix of dish wash and water repeatedly is the only organic means to get rid of bud weevils. Ensure you spray the weevil directly and repeatedly.
- Another means to get the bud weevil out is to monitor your plant and hand-pick them out.
Keeping bugs out of your strawberry plants totally can be challenging, however with consistency, determination, and the right tools, they will be out eventually. Overwatering your strawberry plants can attract a good number of bugs to your plant.
Ensure your strawberry plant isn’t overwatered. Also, ensure to keep your eyes on your plant as some of these bugs can sometimes be invisible without a closer look; some are also experts at hiding behind the fruit cap, leaves, etc.
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