Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could get bees to deliver an effective agent to strawberry flowers that would protect them from infection by Botrytis cinerea? Researchers in Sweden (Iqbal et al. 2022; https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-05-21-0205-R) used bumblebees to pick up a biocontrol fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) and deliver it to strawberry flowers, reducing Botrytis fruit rot by … Continue reading Botrytis and Bees
We can test the quality of strawberry growers’ predatory mites (BOTH bottles or bean leaves). The freshest predatory mites guarantees the best results! We don’t want the mites to wait in the weather, so contact us the day before the mites arrive to schedule a drop-off or pickup! Please fill out and submit the form … Continue reading Want to learn about the quality of predatory mites you are receiving for your strawberry fields?
Twospotted spider mites prefer lower humidity, yet they are reproducing and even thriving in some strawberry fields with flooded furrows, even right now after the historical rain storms. Although the flooding causes higher humidity in the field overall, the microclimate around the plant is still hospitable to spider mites (Fig. 1). As long as the … Continue reading Spider mites in saturated strawberry fields
Insect pest management in strawberries: A closer look at the IPM toolbox, Sarah Zukoff
Figure 1. Lygus bug discussion focused on management issues held in Santa Maria on Nov 1, 2022. (Photo by Miriam Mendez) A small round table meeting was hosted by the California Strawberry Commission (CSC) in Santa Maria to help mediate a discussion on concerns of high lygus bug populations (Fig. 1). Both Cal Poly Strawberry … Continue reading Grower/PCA Round Table: Santa Maria Lygus Bug discussion summary
This summer we’ve experienced high levels of lygus infestation, especially in the Santa Maria and Oxnard growing districts. It’s a good time to review some basic lygus biology. Figure 1. Lygus bug species most often found in California strawberries. 1. There are 19 species of Lygus in California; however, only two species can be regularly … Continue reading A bumper crop of lygus: 7 facts about lygus bugs you may not have known
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
Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (SWD), will have a new natural enemy to contend with in the Salinas and Santa Maria growing regions. After ten years of research by a determined group of entomologists to find a better parasitoid for SWD, Ganaspis brasiliensis (Gb for short) is a parasitoid that attacks the SWD larvae and … Continue reading SWD parasitoid releases!
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 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
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