ripe strawberry ready to be picked
Updated: June 14, 2021

1) Strawberry Aphid, (Chaetosiphon fragaefolii)

small green strawberry aphid
Strawberry aphid
Photo: Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Ag.
and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org.
  • Aphids are small, greenish-yellow, pear-shaped sucking insects that feed on the sap of leaves.
  • These insects can spread viruses from other wild sources, and their feeding can weaken otherwise healthy plants.
  • Aphids are more likely to be a problem in weedy beds. Therefore, be vigilant about weed control around your strawberry bed. 

 2) Leafhoppers

leafhopper examples
Example of leafhopper adults

   

immature leafhopper
Immature or leafhopper nymph

                                    

  • Leafhoppers are small, wedge-shaped greenish-yellow insects that feed on the underside veins of leaves.
  • Severe damage causes leaf curling and stunting.

 3) Sap Beetles

sap beetle
One of a few species of sap beetles that infest strawberries
Photo: Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org
feeding damage on a strawberry caused by sap beetle
Sap beetle feeding damage
Natalie Hummel, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Bugwood.org

Sap beetles are extremely common and pose problems when they attack ripening fruits in large numbers.

  • They feed largely on soft, overripe, and rotting fruits and vegetables and can be controlled by good sanitation in and around the planting and by harvesting ripe fruits regularly.
  • Do not allow the fruit to become overripe. Place plastic funnel traps (plastic soda bottles) in rows filled with vinegar, molasses, and water to capture this pest near plants if necessary.

4) Tarnished Plant Bugs, (Lygus lineolaris)

life stages of the tarnished plant bug
Tarnished plant bug life stages
Photo: University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Tarnished plant bugs cause considerable fruit deformation and excessive seediness in localized areas of the fruit (usually the tips).

  • The adults are 1/4-inch long, brown, and can be found around strawberry blooms. 
  • They are most serious in weedy beds.

 5) Two-Spotted Mites, (Tetranychus urticae)

closeup of two spotted spider mite
 Two-spotted spider mites
Photo: Frank Peairs, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
  • Two-spotted mites are common pests of strawberries and can seriously weaken plants so that winter damage increases, fewer runner plants are established, and the overall yield and quality of the fruit is reduced.
  • The mites are very small, yellowish, and can be found on leaf undersides.
  • Their feeding damage causes tiny yellowish-white flecking (stippling) that is visible on the upper leaf surface.
  • Where populations are very high, spider-like webs can be found throughout the foliar canopy.
  • Mite populations develop early, but severe damage may not be noted until later in the season. Mite problems are more severe during extended periods of hot, dry weather.

6) Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), (Drosophila suzukii)

  • The spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is a small vinegar fly with the potential to damage many fruit crops.