How to deal with strawberry mites?
All summer residents and gardeners who have ever grown varietal strawberries are familiar with the feeling of annoyance when the bed, covered with formed, but still unripe berries, begins to die under the influence of pests. This article will be devoted to strawberry ticks, it will describe the varieties of pests and provide ways to combat them.
Types and danger of strawberry tick
Ticks affecting garden strawberry plantations are microscopic, the surface of their body is covered with sparse bristles. Equipping their habitat, they wrap leaves and stems with cobwebs. It is difficult to specifically indicate the color of the pests - it is inconsistent and depends on the conditions of existence .
Some individuals may have dark spots on their sides. Female pests are brown in color, they have an elongated trunk and they are larger than males.
Did you know? Unlike many plant fruits, the surface of strawberries and strawberries is covered with seeds. By collecting seeds from one strawberry, a gardener can grow up to 200 young plants that fully inherit their parental properties.
As a result of feeding pests, bright yellow spots appear on the leaves of strawberries, which gradually increase and eventually cover a significant part of the leaf. Sick leaves become dull, gray, then brown and dry, and their underside is covered with a thin web, under which there are eggs, larvae or adults.
Damaged plants grow weakly and bear fruit, they also create fewer shoots and mustaches. If spider mites appear en masse after harvesting and are not destroyed at this time, this can affect the frost resistance of plants and make them less fertile next season. In summer and autumn, the processes of reproduction and budding require the regular appearance of healthy leaves on strawberries.
Read also our e-magazine on strawberry cultivation.
This is a pest that cannot be seen with the naked eye, so it is very difficult to detect its presence on strawberries. Larvae and adults feed on leaves, flowers, and strawberry buds. In September and October, wintering females appear, which gradually switch to wintering.
The pest sucks juices, causing deformation of the youngest leaves, on which wrinkled wrinkles appear, they are more clearly colored (compared to healthy leaves), and their petioles are shortened. The pest is carried on plantations of wild strawberries with seedlings, wind, and also with migrating insects . The number of strawberry ticks on plantings increases gradually, the older the bed, the greater the damage.
Causes and signs of the appearance of strawberry tick
It is time for the gardener to worry when small white dots appear on the leaves of strawberries — they are mainly located on the lower surface of the leaf plate. At the same time, a spider web appears on the plants, partially covering leaves and rosettes. In the initial stage, this is not very noticeable, but with the development of infection, a whitish coating on plants appears throughout the garden.
Usually strawberry and spider mites fall on plants carried by rain and wind, and are also carried by birds flying from place to place. The gardener needs to take into account that the closer to the new planting the old, perennial strawberry beds (own or neighboring) are located, the higher the likelihood that pest infection will occur, and quite quickly.
If you do not quickly get rid of ticks in the garden, then due to a decrease in the intensity of photosynthesis, which weakens strawberries, plants critically lose their ability to resist infections and bacterial diseases. Moreover, the arachnoid and strawberry mites themselves, sucking juice, are carriers of disease.
Pest Control Methods
Gardeners can deal with pests on strawberries by various methods. This can be chemical and thermal treatments, biological protection of plantings and spraying with solutions according to popular recipes (protective and repelling).
Learn how to deal with strawberry whiteflies.
Currently, the range of acaricides registered on strawberry plantations is very wide, which makes it possible to alternate the use of drugs belonging to different chemical groups. This is extremely important because of the need to perform several procedures per season.
The spider mite can be destroyed with the help of such acaricides: Safran 18 EC (based on abamectin) and Nissorun Strong 250 SC with a grace period of only three days, and Ortus 05 SC, which is applied no later than seven days before harvesting. Acaricide Floramite 240 SC received a new registration with a one-day grace period. After collecting strawberries, you can use the following preparations: Ortus 05 SC, Envidor 240 SC, abamectin-based acaricides - Vertigo or Safran 18 E, Nissorun Strong 250 SC, as well as two new acaricides - Kanemite 150 SC ”and“ Floramite 240 SC ”. Most acaricides can be used only once per season, with the exception of Vertigo and Floramite (up to two times per season). To increase the effectiveness of treatment, a moisturizing preparation “Flipper” or “Hyperion” should be added to the sprayed liquid.
Safran 18 EC and Vertigo 018 EC deserve special attention. They should be applied to strawberry plantings on a cloudy day or at the end of the day. This can never be done during hours when the sun is most active.
Although both drugs are practically the same acaricides (they have the same active substance and in the same amount per 1 liter of product), they differ significantly in registration labels. Vertigo 018 EC is recommended for the destruction of both arachnoid and strawberry spider mites, while the Safran preparation is recommended for the destruction of spider mites. In addition, the recommended doses and number of treatments are also different . For Vertigo 018 EC, a single dose is 0.75 l / ha. It can be used twice a season, only after harvesting. The dose for Safran 18 EC is higher and amounts to 1.2 l / ha, and it is allowed to carry out only one treatment with the drug - before or immediately after flowering strawberries, or only after harvesting the berries.
Learn how to get rid of nematodes on strawberries.
Technique for the treatment and prevention of the appearance of ticks on strawberry plantations
Most recommended acaricides are contact drugs (with the exception of drugs with abamectin, deeply affecting the plant), so you need to carefully cover the lower side of the leaves with the pests .
The effectiveness of treatment is also increased by adding moisturizers to the preparations (“Flipper” or “Hyperion”). It is also important to carry out processing in good weather conditions. Avoid windy, cold weather (then the pest eats less intensively), as well as too hot and dry.
Learn how to feed strawberries after harvest.
Survey of strawberry beds after harvest and pest control
Using a magnifying glass, the presence of moving insects on the youngest curled leaves (hearts) plucked from 10-15 plants is checked. It is best to carry out control after picking berries, then the detection of 2-3 individuals of the pest means that the treatment of the beds should be repeated. Among the recommended acaricides are Ortus 05 SC and Vertigo 018 EC (required with a humidifier, such as Flipper or Hyperion). After harvesting, it is advisable to carry out two treatments using preparations belonging to different chemical groups. Repetition is carried out after 7-10 days.
Shortly before re-processing, it is necessary to mow all the leaves on the plants, which makes it easier to get the drug on the youngest leaves in the center of the outlet, which the pests eat. Mowing leaves will increase processing efficiency several times. The addition of a moisturizer (“Flipper” or “Hiperion”) is mandatory for the sprayed liquid. In addition, it is necessary to carefully apply the liquid to the plants.
Chemical pest control is not a cheap event, moreover, it does not guarantee the complete destruction of pests . Therefore, with a high population of strawberry beds with a spider web or strawberry mite, it is recommended to destroy the plants and plant new seedlings elsewhere.
Important! It is undesirable to use acaricides or insecticides for planting plants at low temperatures (below +10 ° C), because when cold, insects hide in the ground, and their nutritional activity decreases significantly.
Experienced gardeners offer universal ways to control all pests on strawberries using phytoncide plants as the main ingredient. These funds act against any parasites sucking saps and gnawing leaves of plants. Means are used to water the surface of strawberry bushes or to spray them from a pump-action sprayer.
Popular and effective recipes:
- Marigolds . The infusion is made from the dried flowers of this plant. It takes half a bucket of shredded dried marigold flowers or about 2 liters of fresh flowers. Vegetable raw materials are poured with warm water and left to insist. Setup time is 48 hours. The finished infusion is filtered through gauze or a fine sieve, after which approximately 40 g of laundry soap dissolved in water is added to it.
- Calendula To prepare the working solution, you need 400 g of dry (200 g of fresh) flowers and 2 liters of water, which are mixed and infused for 5 days. Since the infusion is concentrated, then before applying the liquid to the strawberry bushes, it should be diluted by adding another 4 liters of pure water. Next, the solution is thoroughly stirred and filtered from plant residues.
- Dandelion. Fresh leaves are collected in an amount of 400 g + 200 g of crushed other parts (including roots) of the medicinal plant. Vegetable raw materials are poured into 10 liters of warm water and leave to infuse for 3 hours. The biological insecticide is filtered and immediately used to spray strawberries.
- Onions . 100 g of finely chopped or minced onions mixed through a meat grinder are mixed with 10 l of water. The infusion period is 24 hours, after which the infusion is sprayed on strawberry bushes.
- Onion peel. To prepare the working solution, 200 g of dry peel of onions and 10 l of water are required. The term of insisting is 2 days. The finished infusion is filtered and used for processing plants.
- Garlic. To prepare the garlic extract, 200 g of garlic cloves are ground in a meat grinder or chopped in a mixer, then pour 10 liters of water and mix thoroughly. The mixture (without infusion) is filtered and immediately used for spraying plants.
- Tops of tomatoes . The material is harvested during the planting of tomato beds and dried. Take 0.8–1 kg of dry tomato stepsons and pour 10 liters of warm water, after which they insist 3-4 hours. Then the infusion is boiled over low heat for 2-3 hours and cooled. The concentrated broth is filtered and diluted with water twice. To the finished working solution add 40 g of grated laundry soap on a fine grater, stir until completely dissolved, and strawberry bushes are sprayed.
In addition to the protective treatments of the strawberry beds and the adoption of preventive measures that harm insects, you can simply scare them away from planting. For example, phytoncid plants, such as calendula or marigolds, planted around the perimeter of a small strawberry plantation have proven themselves well.
Small beds of strawberries are planted with flowers in 2-3 rows along the entire perimeter, and on large strawberry plantations, in addition to the perimeter, planting calendula or marigolds is additionally arranged along or across the strawberry rows.
Also in early spring, immediately after cultivating the soil between the rows, you can cover the bed with strawberries with white spanbond. Spunbond or agrofibre is fixed around the perimeter, simply sprinkling the edges with earth. Agrofibre does not prevent light and rain (artificial irrigation) from reaching plants . Non-woven fiber also serves as insulation for plants, as a result of which the strawberry bushes begin to bloom earlier, and the berries ripen. Spanbond excludes ticks carried by wind, rain or birds.
Important! Spanbond sheltering a bed, as a way to protect strawberries from parasites, will work only if the plantation has not been infected with a spider web or strawberry tick since autumn.
Experienced plant growers use heat treatment to protect strawberry beds from parasites, since mites, their larvae and eggs die under the influence of high temperature.
How to properly heat the beds:
- On a hot day after harvesting, the infected strawberry bed should be covered with plastic wrap for 2–4 hours.
- The film is pressed tightly to the ground, using bricks or filling the edges of the cloth with soil, as a result of which hot air will not be able to leave the shelter.
- A regular street thermometer is placed on a bed under the film to measure air temperature.
- Under the influence of the sun, the earth under the film quickly heats up. When the temperature under the film (at the plant level) rises to + 60 ° C, the coating is removed from the beds, and strawberry bushes are trimmed with secateurs to the base.
Step-by-step plant processing instructions
In order for the result of processing strawberry beds to be positive, the gardener should adhere to some recommendations.
Did you know? Strawberries belong to the Rosaceae family, and during flowering, its flowers give off a sweet aroma that attracts insects. How to properly process the bed of strawberries from ticks:
- For carrying out organic and chemical treatment, a non-hot, preferably cloudy day with a low air temperature (from + 10 ° C to + 20 ° C) is selected. Even under such weather conditions, it is advisable to carry out the treatment in the morning. If the procedure is carried out in the morning, until the evening, the leaves of the strawberries will dry out, and this is very important, since the culture is prone to fungal diseases, for which moisture drops serve as the optimal breeding medium for spores.
- Before the procedure, the gardener should wear a protective body, legs and head, clothes. Respiratory organs should also be protected by wearing a gauze bandage or respirator before use. Eyes are protected from the effects of chemistry by transparent, tight-fitting glasses.
- The selected active drug is diluted with water, in accordance with the instructions attached to it, and poured into a pump-action sprayer. If there is such a possibility, it is advisable to change the nozzle of the sprayer to another, with smaller holes, on the sprayer. Optimal will be spraying in the form of fog or fine dust.
- Spraying is carried out slowly, so that the drug falls not only on the upper part of the leaf plate, but also under it. Particular attention should be paid to the center of strawberry rosettes, there are the beginnings of young leaves. It is with young tender leaves that strawberry and spider mites feed.
- 5 days after the treatment, it is advisable to inspect the plantation in order to identify live ticks. If insects are detected, the treatment will have to be repeated. If this period falls on the ripening of berries, chemical treatments must be postponed until the end of the harvest.
Important! Chemical treatment of plants should not be carried out at air temperatures above +25 ° C, since the heat contributes to the rapid evaporation of the active substance from insecticides or acaricides.
When protecting against cobweb and strawberry ticks, preventive measures are no less important, that is, the cultivation of initially healthy planting material (certified seedlings that are free from pests). You should also avoid laying strawberry plantations near abandoned and pest populated old beds. In combination with preventive measures, chemical or biological treatments become very effective.
Выбрав любой из вышеперечисленных методов (химический, биологический или термический), садовод может с успехом бороться с засильем клещей на земляничной грядке. Но наиболее удачной тактикой защиты ягодника от паразитов будет регулярное проведение профилактических мероприятий.