Salt marsh caterpillar damage in strawberries

The salt marsh caterpillar is a common species which feeds on many different species of plants and can be found sporadically on strawberries throughout the year. The defoliation can be quite dramatic in spots when several egg masses hatch at once and the larvae start to feed gregariously. Spot treatments of insecticides (Bacillus thuringiensis, spinosad, … Continue reading Salt marsh caterpillar damage in strawberries

Predatory mite bottle counts for 2021-2022 update: Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 2

Strawberry growers requested quality checks on the predatory mite products they were buying since they felt the numbers promised on the label did not always match the number of live mites they actually received. Here I summarize the samples we have received so far from January 2021 to May 2022. We received a total of … Continue reading Predatory mite bottle counts for 2021-2022 update: Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 2

Lygus bug insecticide mortality bioassays: A preliminary look at 2021 results

Lygus bugs are starting to find their way from drying weeds on the hillsides to our beautiful blooming strawberry fields in the Santa Maria area about two weeks earlier than normal. Several fields have already been sprayed or are planning to be sprayed soon. As growers and PCAs start considering what insecticides to use, we … Continue reading Lygus bug insecticide mortality bioassays: A preliminary look at 2021 results

“How many predatory mites are in there?” Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 1

Many strawberry growers in California have happily embraced biological control to help them manage their ever-growing spider mite populations in both their organic and conventional fields by releasing commercially grown predatory mites (PM). However, some have expressed concern over the control they are seeing (Fig. 1) and are worried they will have to rely more … Continue reading “How many predatory mites are in there?” Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 1