Insects and Mite Pests
Most are fruit feeders. Meadow Spittlebug and White Grubs are stem and crown feeders.
The strawberry bud weevil, Anthonomus signatus (Say), is one of the state's most destructive strawberry pests. This dark reddish-brown weevil is about 1/10 inch long with a head elongated into a slender, curved snout about half as long as the body. Its back has two large black spots. In the eastern United States, this insect is known as the "strawberry clipper" or simply the "clipper" because of its habit of clipping buds.
This inconspicuous sucking plant bug is a general feeder attacking a great variety of cultivated and wild plants.
The pest status of the strawberry sap beetle, Stelidota geminata (Say), has been accelerated along with the change in marketing systems from grower harvesting to pick-your-own operations. Unskilled pickers leave large numbers of ripe and overripe berries in the field, which attract the beetle.
The spider mites, Tetranychus spp., especially the twospotted spider mite, frequently attack strawberry plants. They are distributed widely and can be found in almost every field. They attack a wide variety of plants, including truck crops, shade and fruit trees, and ornamental plants.
Although slugs are not insects, they can cause considerable damage that is not unlike insect damage.
Nymphs of the meadow spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius (L.), are small, orange to green insects enclosed in white, frothy, irregular masses 1/2 inch or more in diameter. These sometimes appear on the stems and leaves of strawberries at about the time of bloom.
White grubs do severe damage when strawberries follow sod that has been infested with grubs. White grubs are the immature forms, or larvae, of May beetles or "June bugs."