Eight Things Which Keep Beating You To Your Strawberries
There are pets that keeps beating you to your strawberries, and they come in different forms. The key is to know your enemies - what is eating your strawberries? These are eight common culprits that keep destroying your strawberries and solutions to get rid of them.
Bats, deer, squirrels, mice, moles, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels, among many others, are the usual suspects when it comes to garden and fruit destruction.
To keep my garden free from what is eating my strawberries, I would opt for defenses such as fences and traps. Repellents may also be used, but choose those that will not inflict damage to your plants.
This is another answer to the question "what is eating my strawberries?". What's more, birds do not just eat your strawberries; they also use these plants to seek shelter. They prefer bushy plants which would protect them from predators.
About there food sources, they prefer fruits which ripen early, and strawberries are included in that list. The usual bird culprits are the crow, scrub jay, and the American robin. To protect your strawberries, you can use netting, scarecrows, or anything that makes noise to frighten them away.
However, they will get used to the last two options if they are conditioned to it. You may also use repellents. For birds, traps won’t be as effective as it is for other pests.
Another strawberry destroyer are insects like aphids, Lygus bugs, spittlebugs, mites, and even moths. They not only feed on the fruit, but they also eat leaves and secrete toxins, directly damaging the plant.
They are also able to stunt plant growth. Insects may be a common pest encountered, but insecticides are usually not needed and may even kill insects which are good for growth.
To eliminate them, consider cutting leaves or hand-picking them. It is best to prevent total infestation or remove them before they mature or grow in number.
4. Slugs And Snails
Slugs and snails can be similar, but slugs do not have the shell that snails do. Among the most common pests, snails and slugs are two of those doing serious damage to plants.
They would usually feed on the plant, leaving no part untouched as they prefer leaves, fruit, and even the young plant bark. Like birds, they also eat ripened fruit.
To solve the slug and snail dilemma, remove areas where they can hide, such as debris. Decrease the humidity or use an ammonia solution consisting of 9/10 parts water.
You can also opt to handpick them regularly or use barriers such as screens.
Weeds mostly do the damage by competition for resources. Technically, it is not what is eating the strawberries.
They compete for water and nutrients and decrease the sunlight which is essential for young plants as they cover them.
They also promote the growth of other pests. To get rid of them, you can opt for mulching by preventing water absorption by weeds, ultimately preventing their growth. You may also regularly handpick them.
Gray mold is the usual fungus which constitutes what is eating my strawberries. They would usually consume rotting parts such as those which are not exposed to the sun and those which are in the stagnant water.
To solve this fungi problem, you may opt to plant your strawberries in raised beds. Put adequate space in between plants. If you water them, do it during the day so that the leaves would dry.
Viruses are usually carried by aphids and affect strawberries through discoloration.
Other than that, there wouldn’t be other visible symptoms, and it takes a considerably long time before effects become apparent. These effects would usually be decreased fruits and slower plant growth.
8. The Environment
If the environment is not optimal, your strawberries are not going to thrive. This usually consists of temperature that is too high or too low, low nutrients, especially phosphorus and nitrogen and salt poisoning.
Salt poisoning may be due to overuse of fertilizer or drought. Use fertilizer to address low nutrient supply and water regularly to address salt poisoning.
To sum it up: the pests usually invading strawberry gardens are mammals, birds, insects, weeds, fungi, and even the environment.
There are many ways to address these problems:
- Use barriers such as fences or netting to keep pests away
- Keep your plants healthy by supplying nutrients, but
- Do not over-supply nutrients, and
- Pesticides are not the first option.
And that’s it! Hopefully, this article has answered some of your questions about how to grow strawberries. If you have more questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. You can also share your thoughts by commenting below!