How to get rid of a nematode on a strawberry?

Strawberry or strawberry nematode is a microscopic type parasite that attaches to the stems and roots of a plant. In the course of its development and activity, it sucks out the juice, damaging the tissues, and the substances released during this damage the strawberries. Bushes affected by the pest slow down their growth, begin to wither away, in advanced cases we can talk about a complete loss of yield. It is quite difficult to eradicate the problem completely - only timely prevention and appropriate care have the necessary effect. We will deal with these issues in more detail.

What is a nematode

Nematode is an extremely tenacious and gluttonous parasite . Her eggs can stay in the ground for about 10 years, waiting for conditions acceptable for development. Due to its small size - the length of an adult varies from 1 to 20 mm, depending on the variety - it is quite difficult to detect them. Nematodes is a roundworm, genus primary. It has a white, sometimes slightly yellowish color.

Various individuals parasitize on solanaceous, vegetable crops, garden flowers, strawberries. For the latter, leaf and stem nematodes are dangerous. These are small worms whose length varies between 0.5–1 mm. Found on tomatoes, strawberries, chrysanthemums.

Breeding temperature+ 18 ° С
Generation20 per year
Female0.525-0.685 mm
Male0.435-0.562 mm

Important! Adult worms and eggs laid by the female are in an earthen coma, which prevents the timely identification and destruction of the pest. The worm has a special structure of the oral cavity. Sharp forceps biting through the surface tissue of plants are designed to inject a special secret. He, reacting with the juice of the plant, is converted into a nutrient that is absorbed by the nematode in full. An additional complication is the infection of strawberries with concomitant diseases, most often of fungal etymology.

Male and female individuals are distinguished - there are differences in color, shape, size : females are yellowish in color and more rounded, which is explained by the bearing of the offspring. The eggs are not laid, and if unfavorable conditions arise for the further growth of development, the female becomes a cyst. Did you know? The parasite is present in almost every area, but it can bring significant harm only in case of a large accumulation. So, a colony of 1000 individuals per 1 m² of land is considered dangerous. The capsule may contain about 1000 eggs, protected by a durable shell. The protection is so strong that it is not affected by weather conditions or chemical treatment.

Signs of Strawberry Infections with Parasites

The main signs of a strawberry infection with a nematode are the appearance of red, yellowish-brown dark spots, which are limited by the location of the veins. Cuttings acquire a slightly reddish tint, the inside of the leaf loses its pubescence.

Leaf blades become wrinkled, hard, intensely green in color with a pronounced sheen . A similar color indicates that strawberries are infected with both the nematode and the bacterium Corunebacterium fascians. Dwarfism of plants gradually develops (reduction of bushes, leaves and fruits). The dying of the central part, deformation of the outlet, shortening of the whiskers are observed.

How to detect

To confirm their suspicions of infection with a nematode, it is necessary to carefully examine the rhizomes of strawberries . The exact presence of a parasitic worm is evidenced by numerous white eggs that resemble poppy seeds in size and shape. They strew the rhizome with small loose. Moreover, the root system itself looks exhausted, weakened, and poorly developed.

If you do not plan to dig up tubers, you can examine the leaves, inflorescences. Tear the greens from the affected bush, chop it, transfer it to a jar filled with water, leave for 3-4 hours to insist. If nematodes are affected, microscopic worms of white, light yellow color will appear on the surface of the water, looking like thin threads.


It is quite difficult to detect the presence of a parasite, it can be done according to several indirect signs :

  • peculiar seals, swellings, galls on the outside of the sheet;
  • shortening, curving of the petiole;
  • reduction in the number and size of the ovary, its deformation;
  • bloating on the stem, veins of the plant;
  • general slowdown of the development of the bush.

Inspect the strawberries more carefully if at least one of the above signs has been found. It’s better to do it under a microscope. Did you know? Fossil nematodes are sometimes found in amber and petrified wood resin.

Pest Management Methods

If the pest has settled in your area, the question arises of how to get rid of the parasite. It is not easy to do this - the process can last from 3 months or longer. In this case, an integrated approach should be used involving the methods listed in the table:

Impact measuresWays to useDates
ChemicalTreatment with nematicide group preparationsAccording to the rules prescribed in the instructions for the drug
MechanicalWater treatment at a certain temperatureFor prevention - before planting seedlings

Affected plants - regardless of the season

BiologicalAdding compost to increase soil fertilityIn the period of cultivation, especially in autumn and spring before flowering
Treatment of bushes with a growth stimulator to increase their immunityEvery 21 days, the entire growing season
Landing along the edge of the strawberry planting area of ​​protective plantsPerennials are planted at the stage of laying the strawberry plantations, annuals are sown annually in early spring
AgronomicSteam, multiple deep diggingDuring crop rotation, before planting
Soil optimizationBefore planting strawberry seedlings
Black agrofiber landingWhen landing
The introduction of potash fertilizers into the groundTwice a season: autumn, spring
Constant change of landing placeEvery 3-5 years

Methods are selected comprehensively, depending on the state of strawberries on the site.


Chemical treatment is an extreme measure when other methods have proven to be powerless. With the right approach and following all the rules, the negative consequences of such an impact can be minimized.

The most effective drugs:

  1. Heterophos is a highly toxic pesticide. When working with him, it is important to follow safety rules, use respirators, gloves. 45 days after processing it is impossible to carry out earthwork. To prepare the working fluid, it is necessary to dissolve 15 g of the drug in 10 l of water. Applicable tool for processing growing bushes, soaking seedlings.
  2. “Lindane”, “Ruskamin” - the chemical shows its effectiveness in the fight against adults, but is not able to destroy the chitinous cover of cysts.
  3. “Phosphamide” - is used as a 0.02% solution, which needs to be sprayed every 3-5 days.
  4. "Mercaptophos" is a drug whose action is similar to "Phosphamide".
For chemical treatment, it is necessary to dilute the selected drugs in accordance with the instructions, after watering or spraying. Remember - the parasite lives on a plant and in an earthen coma, so special attention should be paid to tillage.

Important! Due to the high level of toxicity of agents against nematodes, protective agents should be used when using them. In case of signs of poisoning, seek medical attention immediately. Nematocides are not able to destroy the cyst, so treatment should be carried out at least 4 times with an interval of 5 days. The use of the same chemical is inefficient, as it is fraught with the development of immunity in the pest.

Folk remedies

If you do not want to process strawberries infected with a nematode with chemicals, you can use folk remedies. The preparation of tinctures is based on the beneficial properties of plants and products. Such an approach to the prevention and disposal of parasites will significantly reduce their population, while preserving the crop.

As helpers, nasturtium, nettle, marigold, hogweed, calendula, etc. can be used . Below are some recipes to help gardeners.

Hot water treatment

Hot water treatment is carried out:

  • before planting newly acquired seedlings;
  • when changing the place of planting of strawberries;
  • upon detection of infection of the site with nematodes.

To do this, you must:

  • wash the root system of the plant, removing the entire earthen lump;
  • pour hot water into a deep container - + 45 ... + 55 ° С;
  • place there strawberry seedlings for 15-20 minutes.

To prevent plants from boiling, it is forbidden to use a hotter liquid.

Marigold Tincture

Marigolds are a fragrant flower culture. For prophylaxis, it is used for planting along the perimeter of beds with garden strawberries and strawberries. Flower juice is poisonous to parasitic worms. In case of infection with a nematode, the bushes are watered with the prepared infusion.

To do this, you need:

  • take 1 kg of chopped flowers;
  • pour them with 1 liter of water;
  • let it brew for 48 hours in a dark, cool place.

After the product is filtered and can be used for watering.

Onion infusion

To make onion infusion, it is necessary to chop 200 g of onion-batun and pour 5 l of pure water. After a day of insisting, strawberries are watered. For the purpose of prevention, the procedure should be repeated every 14 days, for getting rid of nematodes - every 7 days.

Calendula infusion

The infusion of calendula, or marigolds is another equally effective remedy. To obtain it, you need 200 g of dried inflorescences to fill in 5 liters of water. Leave the closed container with the product in a warm room for 24 hours.

How to handle, step by step instructions

In order for the treatment to be effective and give a result, it should be performed according to a certain scheme:

  1. In the spring, a thorough audit of the whole strawberry plot is important. Inspect the bushes weekly. At this time, organic fertilizing with potassium is introduced. It is good to use wood ash.
  2. During the growing season, treatment with growth stimulants is necessary. The Epin drug has proved itself to be excellent. Its additional effect is to strengthen the immunity of strawberries.
  3. If infected bushes are detected, they should be excavated immediately and the rhizome thoroughly rinsed with hot water.
  4. After fruiting, chemical treatment is necessary.
  5. In autumn, the season ends with the introduction of phosphate-potash fertilizers.

    Also, the most common mistake made by gardeners is the use of insecticides to kill nematodes. However, drugs of this group act exclusively on insects and do not affect worms at all. Important! Affected plants that cannot be restored cannot be thrown into compost. Nematodes do not die, but, on the contrary, infect fertilizers.


    To prevent the development of the nematode population, it is important to use only proven and high-quality planting material on your site. When buying, carefully inspect the entire root system. The presence of white or transparent inclusions is a sign of a parasite. But even without obvious signs, thoroughly treat the roots with hot water before planting.

    Composting the soil on the site will protect against the development of nematodes: the procedure must be carried out before planting and during the growing season of plants. The compost contains active fungi that destroy the parasite.

    To prevent the spread of parasites in the area, observe crop rotation rules. It is necessary to change the place of planting of tubers every 4-5 years. And before planting in the soil, the roots need to be treated with a 0.5% solution of Parathion or Fosdrin. Plants are immersed in an aqueous solution for 20-30 minutes. After this, the product is washed off, and the seedlings are placed for 5 minutes in water, the optimum temperature of which is + 48 ... + 52 ° C.

    Choose the right neighbors. It is good to plant strawberry plantations with fragrant marigolds. Their smell attracts nematodes, but the poisonous juice of plants leads to the death of the population. The root systems of nasturtium and calendula produce an enzyme that repels nematodes. Additionally, along the perimeter, you can plant hairy rudbeckia, beautiful gaillardia, drummond, coreopsis.

    Important! Do not plant tomatoes, celery, carrots, potatoes, beans, cabbage and peas near strawberries. If you encounter a nematode, then after processing, it is better to plant certain varieties on the site that are better resistant to pests and diseases.

    Prefer the following varietal varieties:

    • Rocket;
    • Pearl;
    • Granddaughter;
    • Festival;
    • Saxon
    • Dessert.
    In the off-season, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the entire site from the remains of plants, weeds. The best way is burning, but it must be done outside the site. This will completely destroy the adults who have prepared for wintering.

    When you only plant seedlings, do not thicken the bed, regularly care for strawberries, weeding and thinning the plot. An integrated approach will significantly reduce the number of nematode populations on your site, preventing their reproduction.

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