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Pesticide Options for Insect, Mite, and Mollusk Management in Commercial Strawberry Production in Florida1

Justin Renkema, Shashan Devkota, and Curtis Nagle 2

Florida growers produced primarily fresh market strawberries that were valued at $290.6 million in 2014–2015, harvested from 10,900 acres (Florida Agriculture Overview 2015). More than 95% of the crop is produced near Plant City, with smaller production areas in north Florida and around Homestead, FL.

Major early-season arthropod pests include lepidopterous larvae, twospotted spider mites, chilli thrips, and aphids, some of which may accompany the transplants from their origin. By mid-season and later, major concerns are twospotted spider mites, flower thrips, fruit (vinegar) flies, and sap beetles. Pamera seed bugs add to the concern and may evoke complaints when they accompany berries to markets. Now spotted wing drosophila flies can be present to damage fruit or to reproduce and damage the blueberry crop that follows strawberries.

Effective management of arthropod and gastropod pests of strawberry is critical to the profitability of the industry and requires that pests be detected in a timely manner through systematic scouting. Appropriate control measures should be applied as conditions warrant.

Biological control measures have been developed for management of twospotted spider mites and are practiced by a portion of the industry. Information on biological control of insects and mites in strawberry production is available at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS180. Toxicity information for many pesticides used in Florida strawberry production to commercially available predators of spider mites is summarized at http://side-effects.koppert.nl/.

The tables in this document list pesticides that are presently available to commercial strawberry producers in Florida and are organized alphabetically by the following major pest groups:

  • Ants

  • Aphids

  • Armyworms

  • Beetles and weevils

  • Caterpillars (including budworms, earworms, leafrollers, leaftiers, lesser cornstalk borer, and loopers)

  • Crickets

  • Fruit flies (vinegar flies) and spotted wing drosophila

  • Grubs

  • Mites

  • Mole crickets

  • Pamera seed bugs

  • Plant (Lygus) bugs

  • Snails and slugs

  • Spiders

  • Thrips

Available pesticides for strawberry include beneficial nematode and microbial insecticides, which are components of biological control. For each pest group listed, products available for control are presented by the active ingredient's common name. Usually only one or a few examples of each formulation are given; however, there may be other products as effective as those listed. Notes taken from labels are provided to qualify some uses. More information about pesticide products can be found on electronic versions of specimen labels which are usually available at the websites of CDMS (http://www.cdms.net/manuf/default.asp), C&P Press (http://www.greenbook.net/), or the affiliated manufacturer. The product label communicates the lawful use of the product and must be read, understood, and followed. A label may contain important limitations that are not presented here, and it remains the pesticide applicator's legal responsibility to read and follow all label instructions on the container of the specific pesticide being used.

Many pesticides decompose in the spray tank when mixed with water above pH 7. Growers should test the pH of their water and, when above 7, should add a buffering solution to maintain pH between 6.5 and 7. When using a pesticide for the first time, it is important to test the product first on a small portion of the crop and check for any possible detrimental effects over time, such as leaf distortion and plant stunting.

This summary is only a guide to aid in the proper selection of pesticides. Care has been given to provide accurate and up-to-date information, but it is possible that, through label changes, error, etc., improper uses may be indicated.

As an additional precaution, keep the telephone number and address of the nearest county poison control center in a convenient location in case of an accidental poisoning. Also, keep clean copies of labels of all pesticides on the farm premises. In the event of a poisoning, the label of the pesticide involved should be taken to the poison control center or hospital.

Reference

Florida Agriculture Overview 2015. https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=FLORIDA, NASS, USDA.

Tables

Table 1. 

Ant pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 2. 

Aphid pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 3. 

Armyworm pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida. See also caterpillars (Table 5).

Table 4. 

Beetle and weevil pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida. See also grubs (Table 8).

Table 5. 

Caterpillar pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida. (Includes budworms, earworms, leafrollers, leaftiers, lesser cornstalk borer and looper.) Also see armyworms (Table 3).

Table 6. 

Cricket pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida. See also mole cricket (Table 10).

Table 7. 

Fruit fly (vinegar fly) and spotted wing drosophila pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 8. 

Grub pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida. See also beetles (Table 4).

Table 9. 

Mite pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida. (Includes spider mites, cyclamen mites, and rust mites.)

Table 10. 

Mole cricket pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 11. 

Pamera seed bug pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 12. 

Plant (Lygus) bug pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 13. 

Slug and snail pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 14. 

Spider (widow spiders: black widow and other widow spiders) pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Table 15. 

Thrips pesticidal control measures available for commercial strawberry production in Florida.

Footnotes

1. This document is ENY-689, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date December 2003. Revised December 2007, April 2013, and June 2016. Reviewed June 2019. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.
2. Justin Renkema, assistant professor; Shashan Devkota, research technician; and Curtis Nagle, biological scientist; Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Wimauma, FL 33598.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. All chemicals should be used in accordance with directions on the manufacturer's label. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

Publication #ENY-689

Date: 7/9/2019

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