The Q&A Archives: Beetles On My Raspberries

Question: How do I get rid of the bugs that are eating my raspberry plants? I have seen some sort of beetle bug and also earwigs crawling on the plants.


Japanese beetles are probably the most common beetle found on raspberries. Most gardeners become familiar with this large iridescent beetle which spends about 6 weeks every summer munching its way through the leaves of many plants. Picking them in their early morning sluggish state is the best control for Japanese beetles.

Two other bugs also commonly attack these brambles. The small (1/4") black picnic bug, also known as the sap beetle, feeds on ripening fruit at picking time. Harvesting frequently keeps picnic bugs at bay. Setting "traps" of rotting melon and other fruits a short distance from the raspberries also works. Be sure to destroy the feasting picnic bugs daily!

The raspberry fruitworm is a tiny (1/7") yellow-brown beetle that feeds on the flower buds and leaves during the spring. After laying their eggs on the buds, little yellow worms bore through the bud, finally developing into full grown larvae which eat the fruit.

Both picnic bugs and raspberry fruitworms can be controlled with good sanitation habits. Keeping the area free of weeds so the adult picnic beetles and fruitworm larvae don't have a place to overwinter. Cultivating in late summer also reduces overwintering insects.

Earwigs are night feeders on leaves of some plants. The only way to discover them is with a flashlight at night. Since they are night time feeders, earwigs can be trapped in hollow tubes, such as bamboo or sections of garden hose, left out in the garden. Dump the traps each morning in soapy water.  They also overwinter so keep the area clean and cultivate in fall.

Homegrown raspberries are definitely worth the effort!

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