Many different insects can be found on strawberry plants, flowers and fruit. However, only a few of these insects and invertebrates cause significant economic damage and yield loss. Entomology research projects funded by the growers have totaled over $2.7 million dollars to find solutions for conventional and organic growers.

A major research success has been the optimization and development of best management practices of bug vacuums for lygus bugs. Over 80% of the California strawberry industry has adopted these optimized bug vacuums, reducing pesticide use and providing a key tool for organic growers.

The major insect pests in California strawberry production systems include twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae ), lygus bug (Lygus hesperus), greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum), aphids, garden tortrix (Ptycholoma peritana ) and other leafrollers, western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), and fruit flies. Spotted winged drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) is of particular concern in berry production systems, as it can attack healthy berries, rather than those that have been previously damaged.

The California Strawberry Commission also aids growers with the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) quarantine pest program. This is a native pest of Australia, and has been found in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other countries. It was first detected in Alameda County, CA in 2007 and remains on the quarantine list with USDA-APHIS PPQ. CSC staff help growers and shippers to navigate the inspection process in cooperation with staff from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and USDA-APHIS PPQ.


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