Strawberry is one of the most loved fruits in the world, however, this plant is not only loved by humans but also by pests, small animals, and flies. The effect that these pests have on the strawberry varies and is dependent on what type of animal/pest is feasting on the strawberry plant.
A common pest that is known to disturb the strawberry plant and fruit is fruit flies.
Fruit flies are identified by various names, such as vinegar flies, wine flies, pomace flies, etc. Fruit flies are flies that are attracted to fermenting or ripened fruits and vegetables.
Fruit flies come from the drosophila genus and can be about 1/8 inch long. Fruit flies are characterized by their red eyes and their tan and black body. They have become common problems for homes and often come into the house alongside perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, etc.
Apart from the home, the garden is another place fruit flies can be found. In the garden, they can appear all through the year, however, they are most common during late summer and fall and this is because most fruits and vegetables become ripe at this time.
Fruit flies not only make strawberries unattractive but also transfer bacteria to the fruits, which end up in your home and which in turn get transferred to you.
How To Keep Fruit Flies Off Your Strawberry Plants
Keeping the strawberry plant and fruit away from these tiny creatures can be a challenging task to perform, before you give in to defeat, there are ways to keep the fruit flies off your strawberry plants, however not many are familiar with these ways.
Lucky you! We know a couple of ways, and we are more than delighted to share them with you!
1. Use Essential Oils
The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to make use of organic methods, as this gives the assurance that your plant and fruit are not infected with chemicals. An effective organic way to keep fruit flies off your plant is to make use of essential oils.
Certain essential oils contain a compound called eugenol, this compound is known to attract and kill fruit flies on contact.
It is also potent in repelling fruit flies for about two weeks. You can either make a fruit fly trap using any essential oil with eugenol or clean your plant with this oil. Essential oils that have eugenol include hyssop, basil, cinnamon, Artemisia, etc.
2. Dish Soap And Vinegar
Using household items on the farm has become a common thing to do now, dish soap and vinegar have been tested to be a potent way of getting rid of fruit flies. Get a big bowl; put a quarter cup of vinegar and some drops of dish soap in it. The strong smell of the vinegar will attract the flies; however, the flies will stay trapped because of the soap.
3. Practice Companion Plants
Companion planting is an effective organic method of repelling pests like fruit flies. This method has been in use for many years and has never failed. You only have to ensure that you are planting the right plants together.
Growing certain plants together with strawberry plants will help keep the fruit flies off, such plants include lemongrass, basil, peppermint, lavender, etc.
If you do not have enough space to grow other plants with your strawberry, you can place the leaves of these plants around your strawberry plant.
4. Reduce Watering
Fruit flies and commonly attracted to rotten fruits, fresh fruits, or an overly moist plant. Keeping your strawberry plant overwatered or too moist is setting up a haven for fruit flies. We advise that you allow your strawberry soil to get dried and water moderately.
If they persist, you might want to change the soil to get rid of any fungus that is growing already in the soil.
5. Chemical Control
The use of the chemical control method is not recommended, however, if the fruit flies are out of control. We recommend that this can be used, nevertheless, ensure you consult an expert on how to use it, so it doesn’t affect or disturb the plant itself.
Fruit flies infected strawberries can make you sick if eaten. The fruit flies can transfer bacteria or transmit a dangerous pathogen to your fruits via their wings and legs, if this is consumed, it can make the individual go sick, or cause food poisoning.
Keeping fruit flies off your strawberry plants saves you from harvesting infested fruit and ultimately from food poisoning.
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