by Antonino Crapanzano
In this article we will talk about the pests of strawberries and in particular, those that cause the greatest damage and disease to these fruits that grow from plants of the genus Fragaria.
From a botanical point of view, strawberries are defined false fruit because they represent the enlargement of the receptacle, the portion of the flower that houses the floral organs, while the real fruits are the yellow seeds that we can see on their surface.
Strawberry plants are prone to the onset of various diseases as they are more palatable than other crops present on the same plot of land or where only the stubble remains; to know and deepen the diseases to which strawberries are subject, you can take a look at this article.
Since this plant is very palatable, i pests of strawberries there are many and now we will see their characteristics, the symptoms they cause to the various organs of the plant and the main and most effective methods of struggle.
Who are the pests of strawberries?
THE pests of strawberries they are all those animals that damage the various organs of the plant often to draw nourishment, therefore, grow at the expense of the plant itself.
Let's see which ones and how many they are.
The red spider
The red spider (Tetranychus urticae, C. L. Koch 1836) it is a phytophagous arachnid that attacks various plants, both ornamental and fruit. It is a very dangerous parasite for plants and with a high potential for infestation because it reproduces quickly, within a few days.
The females are about 0.5 mm in size and the males are even smaller; at the adult stage they will be red, the young individuals will have a yellow and orange body; it has a pointed mouth apparatus that allows it to prick the vegetable portions of the plant to suck out the nutrients.
The red spider lays about one hundred eggs a year which will be fertilized in winter and then overwinter during the spring-summer period.
The infestation of the red spider mite in strawberry plants starts from the underside of the leaves presenting, on the top side, discolored spots that will expand and give the leaf a faded green color with shades ranging from yellowish to bronze; the edges of the leaf limb tend to dry out.
After colonizing also the upper page, the leaves will be covered with a silky cloth where the various stages of development will take place.
This pest of strawberries it can cause its death as it feeds on the contents of its cells, altering their normal physiological activity with repercussions on photosynthetic activity and productivity; it also has negative repercussions on operators as it can cause irritation and allergies.
The strawberry tarsonemide
Between pests of strawberries we find Phytonemus pallidus (Banks). This yellow-brown mite has female specimens larger than the males which will be more robust and in the shape of forceps; in females the last pair of legs is elongated and with a hair at the end.
The eggs are elliptical in shape and large in size compared to adults. Young individuals are light in color and have a triangular enlargement on the back of the body. Adult females overwinter on dead leaves, buds and at the base of the petioles.
These pests of strawberries they can move on the plants along the rows or be carried by bees, other insects, birds or operating personnel.
Symptoms on strawberries vary according to the time of the infestation, the vegetative state and the variety. Growth will stop on partially developed leaves while unaffected tissues will continue to grow and have ripples and distortions.
The infested leaves remain small and wrinkled, the petioles and peduncles will be underdeveloped and the flowers will have deformations and abortions, however, the attached fruits become rusty. If this parasite attacks the plants the autumn preceding the harvest, there will be stunted, dwarfing and bushy plants and fruiting will take place late.
The control of these plants focuses on the use of certified seedlings, periodic checks must be carried out to avoid late diagnosis and the outbreaks must be destroyed as soon as possible.
The grillotalpas: pests of strawberries
The grillotalpa (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa, Linnaeus 1758) adult, yellow-brown in color and almost cylindrical in shape, it has a length of about 30-40 mm. The front wings are smaller than the hind wings which are much more developed; the front legs are very robust, fossorial and denticulated.
The grillotalpa completes a two-year generation over three years and overwinters in the ground where the females will lay their eggs at a depth of about 10-20 cm; the nymphs will reach sexual maturity in the spring of the third year after birth.
These pests of strawberries they are mainly zoophagous and omnivores and, in fact, they feed on many invertebrates that live in the soil but also on roots, tubers and taproots; as pests of strawberries they can destroy the roots but also reach the fruits resting on the ground, causing erosion.
The tipula or mosquito of the vegetable gardens
The tipula or mosquito of the vegetable gardens (Tipula oleracea, L.) belongs to the order of Diptera.
The adults are large, brown in color and with the thorax crossed by longitudinal shades; females have a pointed end of the abdomen while that of males, which are more slender, will be hoof-shaped. These pests of strawberries they overwinter at the larva stage and have two generations a year.
They live on many cultivated species such as the strawberry and prefer humid environments. The damage to strawberries is caused by the larvae that live on the organic substance and feed on shoots and rootlets, can cause injury to the fruits lying on the ground which, consequently, will no longer be marketable.
Phytophagous myrides: parasites of strawberries
The phytophagous myrids, pests of strawberries, are mainly two:
- Lygus rugulipennis he is the most important of the myrids of gods pests of strawberries. It prefers herbaceous plants and in Italy it completes three or four generations a year; this insect multiplies throughout the summer, reaching its peak in the months of August and September.
In this period Lygus rugulipennis it will colonize the strawberry plants, thus making the defense of the plants even more difficult.
- Calocoris norvegicus it is polyphagous like the previous one. The nymphs occur in the month of March, they will move onto the strawberry plants causing serious but limited damage to the edges of the plot.
Both species feed on the aerial parts of the plant but the greatest damage is borne by the small fruits on which the insect bite causes the arrest of development.
The strawberry aphid
The females of the strawberry aphid (Chaetosiphon fragaefolii, Cockerell 1901) they are apterous, small in size and have a greenish yellow body decorated with bristles. The greatest number of individuals of these pests of strawberries it is reached in spring and autumn, while during the hottest periods they are reduced.
This insect lives on the underside of the leaves, on the calyx and on the flower peduncles, causing the subtraction of sap, the production of honeydew and the development of fumaggine. The bristly strawberry aphid transmits a large number of viruses and for this reason the methods of struggle must be very careful and precise.
The western greenhouse thrips
The first reports in Italy date back to 1987. The eggs are small, opaque and are laid in the green parts of the plant. Adults of Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande, 1895) they have a variable color depending on the season and the geographical area, in fact, the spring forms are clear and the wintering ones are brownish.
The damage is caused by both nymphs and adults who puncture the epigeal organs, causing the emptying of the cell contents and the inoculation of toxic saliva; this, on the leaves, leads to the appearance of depigmented areas which turn yellow and evolve into necrosis with consequent reduction of the photosynthesizing surface.
These pests of strawberries on the reproduction organs they cause distortion of the margins of the petals, depigmentation of the flap and necrosis, with negative consequences for the fruit set and development which will show browning and will be blackened.
The strawberry oziorrinco
These insects, pests of strawberries both in greenhouses and in open fields, they are harmful to various herbaceous and arboreal cultivated plants. Otiorrhynchus rugosostriatus (Goeze, 1777) one generation per year and adults, present from April to October, have nocturnal habits.
During the night they feed on the leaves causing the typical semilunar erosions. The larvae cause greater damage to the roots and the crown on which they dig holes that can lead the plants to death.
The rhinchite of the strawberry
Rhynchites germanicus (Herbst, 1797) it is a beetle of about 2-3 mm, of dark blue color, the elytra lighter than the body, the legs and the black antennae. The rhinchite of the strawberry makes only one generation and overwinters in the ground as a mature larva; it comes out from March to April and, in this period, it feeds on undeveloped leaves.
The females lay the eggs, singly or from 1 to 4 per organ, on the foliar petioles, flower peduncles, buds or stolons; subsequently, they make transverse holes to prevent the influx of sap and ensure the survival of the larvae.
The affected stems and petioles break due to the action of the wind, before withering, despite being long and robust.
Methods of fighting strawberry pests
As we have seen, there are many potentials pests of strawberries that can attack this plant in a more or less aggressive way. First of all, to avoid consistent attacks, it is necessary to adopt a good cultivation technique starting from prevention and carrying out treatments and natural pesticides allowed in organic farming.
All those preventive measures can be put in place that help us avoid some problems, let's see what they are:
- the planting distance must be at least 20-25 cm;
- water stagnation in the soil must be avoided as they can cause root rot;
- dry leaves must be eliminated, especially after production, to prevent the spread of any pathogens already present;
- irrigate only on the ground and not on the plant;
- do not fertilize too much;
- carry out preventive treatments with decoction of horsetail which, rich in silicon, gives plants greater resistance to attacks.
To avoid the attacks the attacks of the red spider high temperatures and low humidity must be avoided, keeping the soil wet and nebulizing the leaves; in case of strong attacks by the aphids plant protection products such as pyrethroids or natural pyrethrins can be used.
The fight against mealybugs involves biological interventions, for example, the use of ladybird insects or the use of chemical products such as phentoate or metidation with white oil.
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Medium-height strawberry bushes Capri. The leaves do not create a strong thickening. Strong peduncles, do not fall to the ground. The inflorescences attract bees with a large amount of pollen. A positive feature of the Capri varieties is a long flowering. The berry grows large, weighs at least 40 g. The shape of the fruit is cone-shaped. The skin is shiny.The color is bright red with burgundy tones. Spout on the stage of the orange technical maturity.
The pulp of the berry is quite dense, but this does not prevent it from being tender and juicy. The solid structure improves the portability and safety of the fruit. This quality is highly appreciated by farmers who grow Capri strawberries for sale. Berry even in the stage of technical maturity contains a lot of sugar. The fruits do not lose their sweetness in the rainy summer. The yield of remontant strawberries reaches 2 kg of berries from one bush.
Warning! Variety Capri brings the largest harvest in the first and second year of life. Starting from the third year, the return index is decreasing.
The short yield peak is due to fruit proliferation. Strawberries ripen in waves from late June to mid-November. Berries deplete the mother's bushes, shortening their life cycle.
The advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Long-term continuous fruit
A small number of whiskers complicates breeding
High yield up to 2 kg from a bush
Culture needs abundant watering and fertilizer
Shrubs are cold-hardy, resistant to disease
Bushes grow well with frequent mulching and loosening of the soil.
Berries are amenable to transportation and storage.
Compact size bushes
The plant resists drought
The sweetness of the berries remains the rainy summer
A special feature of Capri is the bush's survival rate in the sun. The plant will remain alive even without shading, but there will be no flower stalks. Strawberries need abundant watering to get a good harvest.
The underlying disease
Most often, the strawberries and strawberries are surprising:
- gray mold,
- leaf spot,
- Verticillium Wilt.
A significant decrease in yield can also result in the contamination of eggs and larvae of various types of insects. Most often, the problem owners planting delivered strawberries:
- strawberry mite,
- garden snail
- raspberry strawberry weevil.
So, let's go to what is done in the strawberry spring treatment against diseases and pests from the above list.
The following measures will help avoid the spread of strawberry diseases:
- choose for planting places where legumes, carrots, onions, garlic, beets, rye, oats were previously grown
- do not use strawberry beds where tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers have been grown
- process the seedlings before final planting
- every 3 years to change the place of disembarkation
- choose healthy seedlings from reputable suppliers
- disinfect the soil
- make potash and phosphate fertilizers
- use substances containing nitrogen in limited quantities
- fight against parasites that spread diseases
- caring for plantings, removing old leaves, stems and whiskers.
The Colorado beetle is the most destructive pest in the garden, it manages to reduce to crumbs, and in a short time, all the green leaves that come within range. It is about one centimeter large and has a yellow / orange striped armor.
The plants that come into contact with the Colorado beetle are therefore deprived of their leaves causing their death. They mainly attack potato and eggplant plants and sometimes even the pepper and tomato plant. To avoid damage caused by Colorado beetle it is good to check the base of the leaves from time to time. It is in this area that the parasite lays its eggs, which are orange in color and have a gelatinous consistency.
This insect is very voracious, has a chewing mouth apparatus and sometimes eats the leaves, in the case of the potato, the adults eat the tubers.
Plant parasites: natural remedies Colorado beetle
To combat Colorado beetle without resorting to classic pesticides, there are several natural alternatives. Among these we have:
- intercropping with other plants: consists of planting potatoes and aubergines near garlic, onion, beans and horseradish plants. These remove the Colorado beetle from the garden
- Antagonist insects: consists of inserting antagonistic insects in the garden. Among the antagonistic insects of the Colorado beetle we have the bacillus thurigiensis, the kurstaki and the tenebrionis. They cause stomach ache in Colorado beetle leading to death. There is also the edovum puttleri, an insect that replaces the Colorado potato beetle eggs with its own and finally the Lebia grandis that eats the Colorado potato beetle eggs.
- Mulching: which consists of covering the earth with other earth, manure and leaves. In this way, the insect takes longer to rise to the surface
- Manual technique: it consists in eliminating all the Colorado beetles by hand. It still remains the most effective method and luckily these insects don't stink.
Useful precautions: before taking them with your hand, put the other hand under the leaf to avoid unnecessary work. When the insect feels touched it pretends to be dead, throws itself into the ground so it becomes difficult to retrieve it. If you find messy mounds of eggs on the leaves, mash them with your hands.
Non-infectious diseases of Anthurium, methods for their elimination
Non-infectious diseases of anthurium - The most common problem, often resulting from the growth process not only of anthurium, but also of other domestic plants. As a rule, they are connected with violations of the rules of the content or their abrupt change.
The frequency of irrigation and water hardness, soil quality, soil nutrition, light, the availability of fresh air and much more - all this together determines the rate of growth and flowering anthurium, which is the reason for where you should be very meticulous, and in case of problems and illnesses, to pay attention to changing conditions.
Anthurium does not bloom
In terms of non-infectious plant diseases, anthurium differs little from other colors. This allows you not only to easily determine the cause of the problem, but also ways to fix it. As with any other flower, anthurium diseases sometimes affect its flowering, simply by stopping it.
This can be caused by an infectious component, but, as a rule, the reason lies in the violation of the rules of the content. For example, The Anthurium at home should be kept at a temperature of at least 18 ° C, without drafts and also hidden from direct sunlight.
Problems with missing flowering are solved simply: just create "greenhouse" containment conditions and feed the root system with mineral fertilizers.
Because the Anthurium withers
As in the case of the first problem of the pathological state of anthurium, in most cases the plant dries up due to non-compliance with the conditions of detention. Anthurium leaves wither primarily due to insufficient watering and a reduced room temperature.
In such a situation it is extremely important to promptly change the conditions of the contents towards improvement and it is desirable to feed the plant with mineral fertilizers.
In the case of regular and timely action, the problem of "Anthurium from dry leaves", as a rule, are solved, but there may be options when the cause is contagious septoria and anthracnose, methods of struggle that do not apply to non- infectious and are described below.
Yellowing of the leaves (chlorosis)
Answering the question of why the anthurium is sick, it is absolutely possible to say that the main problem is the cultivation conditions and improper care. chlorosis, which causes spots on the leaves of anthurium, it is a consequence of the violation of the composition of trace elements in the water, soil and fertilizers provided.
And the essence of the problem can be hidden both in one of the factors and in everything at the same time, so it is necessary to eliminate them all without exception.
Among the reasons and factors, it can be noted:
- inconsistency of the soil and lack of drainage system, which hinders the free access of oxygen and water
- high chlorine content in the water
- excess of natural light
- presence of drafts
- excessive watering or watering with insufficiently warm water
- infectious diseases of anthurium.
From this it follows that the anthurium withers due to the trivial problems inherent in other domestic plants. The treatment is the creation of adequate conditions to maintain the anthurium, the supply of water with permanent water and a regular diet with mineral fertilizers.
Patchiness on the leaves (burns)
Violation of care for an anthurium at home in certain cases contributes to the appearance of a certain spot on the leaves, that is, burns. Brown spots on anthurium leaves can be caused by the following factors:
- excessive moisture content and lack of adequate drainage
- landing in poor quality soils, with or without a low mineral content
- incorrect watering
Plant anatomy it is manifested by the fact that the anthurium withers, its leaves take on an ugly shape and are often disfigured by the growths. The nature of this non-infectious disease is not fully understood, however, problems of this type appear exactly exactly after a drastic change in the temperature regimes of the content. It is possible to cure the staging only by creating favorable conditions, due care and regular fertilization of the flower.
smallpox – non-parasitic disease inherent in plants that have undergone a sharp deterioration in the conditions of care and maintenance. It manifests itself with the appearance of growths and bumps on the sheets. Eliminating smallpox is quite simple - it is necessary to move the flowerpot to a warm place, protected from drafts and direct sunlight.
Strawberries are fruits with a modest calorific value, they mainly bring simple sugars (fructose) and the quantity of proteins and fats is negligible. The contribution of fiber and water is instead considerable.
From a saline point of view, strawberries contain excellent quantities of potassium and manganese, while as regards vitamins, considerable concentrations of folic acid and ascorbic acid (vit C) are highlighted. This last molecule is one of the main antioxidant constituents of strawberries, whose power is well supported by flavonoids (polyphenols), in particular by fisetin. It is a flavonol pigmentosum widely studied by the scientific community in different pathological contexts the interaction between strawberry fisetin and the human organism has been observed in case of: Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, etc. The results are still being clarified but it is likely that it can boast properties: antiaging, anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral, however, it cannot be excluded that it may hide side effects such as the increased risk of diseases in the fetus (such as leukemia, due to interaction with nucleic acids).
Strawberries are also potentially allergenic foods this form of hypersensitivity (rather widespread) usually manifests itself with skin and oral mucosal symptoms, more rarely with hay fever, dermatitis, hives and respiratory problems. The active ingredient "theoretically" responsible for the adverse reactions is Fragaria allergen 1, a protein also present in apple and birch, plants towards which there is a concrete cross-reactivity of subjects allergic to strawberries. In this regard, a particular crop has been differentiated (Sofar) which produces strawberries free of Fragaria allergen1 this plant originates totally white ripe fruits (since they are free of flavonoids) and its peculiar appearance is also advantageous in the fight against avian infesters in open field crops.