Something is eating my strawberries (PICS)

ljbrandt(8)May 1, 2012

My 4 y/o is getting very frustrated waiting for her strawberries only to find that something has eaten them. Can someone kindly identify the damage and suggest preventative measures? Me and my daughter thank you.

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ray4852

it looks like grey mold to me.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:06PM
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ltilton

I think something's chewing on them. The edges are too sharp for gray mold.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:24PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Birds perhaps? We have catbirds that do that to ours. The bites are likely too small to be chipmunks.
-Glenn

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:38PM
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johnmerr(11)

Looks like earwigs to me; I would cover the soil with black plastic, as they do in the field; it not only warms the soil and makes the plant grow faster, but protects it from things like earwigs, slugs, snails, etc.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:38PM
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mrsg47(7)

I agree with Glenn, looks like bird damage. Mrs. g

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:56PM
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ltilton

Bites are too small and the wrong shape for birds. I go with bugs -earwigs maybe.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:10PM
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suprneko(9b/sunset 16 NorCal, S. Bay)

I gave up on strawberries for this reason. :( Even with bird netting over a pvc frame, other critters would get in there. I had earwigs, slugs, lizards and a voracious ground squirrel. sigh!!

I hope you have better luck than I did!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:27PM
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melikeeatplants

Slugs do that to mine....you have snails/slugs trails around?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:14PM
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ltilton

That planter looks so healthy. I've often thought about moving my berries to a container to avoid pests and diseases. Apparently that doesn't work.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:40AM
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ljbrandt(8)

Without having to resort to chemicals, is there anything I can spray on the soil, leaves and berries that might deter whatever is eating them? Dr. Bronner's soap spray or the like. Or maybe putting plastic down as Johnmerr suggested?

Whatever is eating them also likes the green ones!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:17PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I would say earwigs or slugs. Sluggo Plus will get rid of the problem. It is organic and safe to use around your strawberries. If it is slugs, plastic will just provide a nice, moist, dark haven for them, so I would try using Sluggo Plus. You can check for both by setting down a flat piece of cardboard on the ground near your strawberries and see if slugs and/or earwigs congregate underneath.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:00PM
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clayfarmer(Zone 5 Illinois)

I'd say it's slugs. We've had a lot of rain here over the last 7-10 days, and I've noticed lots of 1" long grey/black slugs in my strawberry patch.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:00PM
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ljbrandt(8)

Did a little research on slugs. Before resorting to the Sluggo, I'm going to try a ring of DE on the lip of the planter to see if that works...of course, I'll have to be careful not to get it wet when watering and reapply after a rain. I'll post pics of that too :-)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:38AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, the DE may keep out slugs that are not already hiding under the leaves, but will do nothing for the slugs that are already in your strawberry patch. Sluggo is just iron phosphate, completely harmless to you, the soil, etc. I would do both if I were you - sprinkle Sluggo or Sluggo Plus if you see earwigs amongst the plants, and then you can try ringing your patch with DE.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 12:26PM
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