something is eating my strawberries

TafoyasJune 14, 2013

There is something eating my strawberries. I went to check on them this morning and picked a few ripe ones. I went back about 5 hours later to check them for more ripe ones and 2 of them had already been chomped on. I have some netting partially over the patch. Something is getting under the netting and munching on them as well as any that are out of the netting. I did notice some rolly polly bugs the other day in the patch, but could it be a few pests and not isolated to only rolly polly bugs? I have more pics to post.

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shazaam(NC 7B)

That looks like insect damage for sure. Seen any slugs? In my garden slugs and pill bugs often work in tandem -- the latter feed on slug damaged berries.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 4:17PM
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ltilton

Yep, that round hole is typical of slug damage.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 4:25PM
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2ajsmama

Would ants eat a large hole like that? I haven't noticed slugs in the berry patch, but do have ants. I also have berries with multiple smaller holes. All the holes do seem to be on the ground side, though I have some "nibbled" berries poking out the netting on the edges of the bed.

May not be anything to worry about as I now have botrytis in the bed.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:43AM
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drewbym(MO6B)

Slugs and rolly pollys. Come out after dark with a salt shaker and get rid of the slugs.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:41AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Would ants eat a large hole like that? I haven't noticed slugs in the berry patch...

I've definitely seen ants on slug damaged strawberries, but I I don't know whether ants would feed on undamaged fruit. Are you sure that you don't have slugs and/or snails? If you haven't already, do an after dark flashlight inspection. That's when you're most likely to catch them in action. Given the sheer number of slugs, snails, and pill bugs that inhabit my 1/4-acre lot, I resort to Sluggo Plus when berries begin to ripen.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:55AM
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ltilton

ajsmama - botrytis will spread readily to damaged fruits like that, so that makes it an even greater concern. I'd put down some Sluggo along the outside of the rows.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:19AM
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larry_gene

The offending slugs are likely inhabiting the strawberry planting itself; bait applied to the perimeter may not be effective.

Do the night thing as mentioned above, but manually pick and remove the slugs. A half-dozen slugs can mess up a lot of strawberries. Bait the perimeter to deter ones coming from a distance.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:03AM
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2ajsmama

Still some damage but botrytis seems to be limited - I'm not puling that many diseased fruit, but I do pull every damaged fruit I see. I found a tiny green "Inchworm" on one though, wondering if that's what's eating them?

Lots of crickets, ants, and some dragonflies caught under the netting. Haven't seen any slugs but I haven't had time to go out after dark.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:53PM
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