Black mites(?) on picked raspberries?

sharppa(6)August 4, 2013

My fall raspberries are just starting to be ripe and after being picked, we have found a teeny black bug in the container of about 20 raspberries. I had the same problem last year with the same location. Are these some sort of mite? They are about the size of a grain of sand and crawl around the fruit/bowl very quickly. The kids are a bit grossed out about them.

If mites, is there a good spray with a low PHI that I can spray? I have never sprayed anything on this section of raspberries that were planted last spring.

And wow, a whole lot of bumblebees are pollinating the plants. I can't imagine being afraid of bees and trying to pick from fall raspberries.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

In general, rapidly moving insects aren't plant pests. Shoo it off, then eat your berries.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 10:28PM
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larry_gene

Those could be mites; a lot of little bugs end up in many berry harvests. Most people just rinse and eat. Although raspberries are fragile, that is what I would recommend.

If the mites are causing damage to the canes or fruit, that may require spraying.

Picking early or late in the day will avoid most bumblebees.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:01PM
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sharppa(6)

Thanks Jean and Larry.

Last year, if we picked 100 raspberries, we had 20 of these little bugs hiding in the berries, etc. Finding each manually was hard, putting the fruit in the refrigerator did not kill them and rinsing wasn't 100% effective.

I may try a sulfur spray to see if that cuts down their numbers some.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:15AM
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larry_gene

Lime sulfur is typically used for mites at bud break in the springtime just when the overwintered adults become active again.

It the mites are ending up in the hollow raspberries, that would be difficult to rinse out.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 11:03PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Whatever it is should be identified before you start shooting at it. Possibly beneficial insects. Some are extremely tiny.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 2:06AM
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sharppa(6)

Jean, do you have suggestions of what they might be so I can do some research? The only thing that I found online so far that matches is spider mites.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 8:20AM
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sharppa(6)

I think I have figured out that these bugs are some form of sap beetle. We have a strawberry patch near the raspberries and have left overripe fruit to rot in the patch which must build up a population of sap beetles. They are small, black and fast moving. They don't die under water or if the raspberries are stored in the refrigerator. Has anyone dealt with these and sprayed for them? We will be be cleaning up the strawberry patch better this year to see if that helps.

I also get orange dust on the raspberries which is late leaf rust I believe.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:44AM
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