The Q&A Archives: Something Eating Strawberries

Question: I have a strawberry patch in an 8' x 4' raised bed. The plants are very healthy and producing strawberries galore, but something is starting to eat the leaves and strawberries. I can't find any type of insect. Any ideas what might be eating them? Should I spray an insectide just to be safe?

Answer: Strawberries have a few enemies out there; beetles, birds and slugs are the worst. Since you don't see any beetles or caterpillars on the plants, I'd suspect that either slugs, snails, or birds have discovered the fruit. You can drape bird netting over the patch to keep birds out, or paint golf balls or walnuts bright red and place them among the plants to annoy and frustrate the birds. To keep slugs and snails away from the fruit, use traps and empty them daily. I wouldn't use pesticides in the bed without first identifying the pest, and then making sure that the label states it's safe to use around strawberries.

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