Strawberries taste particularly good from your own garden. Unfortunately, the harvest of strawberries can be reduced by pests or diseases. This article will tell you what there are and how to fight or treat them.

strawberry pests

Strawberry blossom cutter and strawberry stalk cutter

Both beetle species belong to the weevils. Not only do they attack strawberries, but other types of berries as well . They lay their eggs in the flowers of the plants, drilling a hole in them with their proboscis. The larvae eat the flowers from the inside out. An infestation can only be recognized by the fact that the flower buds snap off. While the larva feeds, the flower withers. In the case of the strawberry stalk weevil, entire inflorescences wither and snap off. Finally, the larvae pupate and the finished beetles, a few millimeters in size, hatch.

Other characteristics of the beetles

  • Strawberry Blossom Stinger is unable to fly
  • colored dark brown to black
  • characteristic is the long trunk
  • Antennae as long as the proboscis with thickened ends
  • greyish spots on the elytra
  • Larvae very small, cream-colored
  • Strawberry stem cutter looks similar
  • significant difference in the coloring of the wings
  • are colored metallic blue
Note: Although an infestation will result in fruit failure, it is so rare that controlling these strawberry pests is not necessary. It is enough to check the plants and remove wilted flowers.

Strawberry soft skin mite

Mites are so small that they are rarely visible to the naked eye, so it is particularly important to pay attention to the damage caused by Steneotarsonemus pallius fragariae :

  • Pests suck on the underside of the leaf
  • Leaves curl
  • wither from the edge and dry up
  • Infestation increases over the years


  • remove affected leaves
  • Replace plants regularly
  • comply with crop rotation
  • Do not plant strawberries again for four years at the same location
  • Spray with insecticide or sulfur if infestation is severe

cherry vinegar fly

Although it likes to attack cherries, the spotted-wing drosophila ( Drosophila suzukii ) also damages many other types of fruit. Among them also the strawberry. This species of fruit fly has a preference for red fruits that have just ripened. She bores a hole in the soft shell and lays eggs in the fruit. The larvae eat the flesh from the inside.

damage picture

  • small, barely visible hole in the fruit skin
  • soft spot on the strawberry
  • rotting or moldy patches
  • Fruit spoils very quickly


  • do not use insecticide as ripe fruit will be attacked
  • Remove infested fruit and throw in the trash
  • Use insect protection nets
  • Mulch culture and keep dry
  • Set up traps with attractants made of vinegar, water and a few drops of washing-up liquid
  • Encourage beneficial insects and a natural garden
Note: The earlier in the year the fruit ripens, the lower the infestation with the spotted-wing drosophila. Therefore prefer early ripening strawberries.


Slugs in particular are typical strawberry pests and cause great damage to crops. Especially in damp weather, they eat the ripe fruit within a very short time or eat it off completely. Nudibranchs are generally easy to spot and should only be safely distinguished from the non-noxious tiger slug ( Limax maximus ). This is very long, has a brown basic color and blackish markings.


  • collect snails in the evening and early morning
  • Use a snail fence or collar
  • in dry weather, spread barriers of sawdust
  • Mulch plants with straw and keep them as dry as possible
  • Keep vegetation around the strawberry bed short
  • possibly use organic slug pellets
  • Snail traps with attractants can help, but they can also attract snails from far away


These nematodes infest the stems of plants. These wither away and the affected plants are no longer productive. If fruits do form, they don’t taste good. The damage caused by Ditylenchus dipsaci is easy to identify, remove the affected plants and dispose of them in the residual waste.

Tip: Do not plant strawberries again in this spot. Planting marigolds can help rid the soil of the nematodes.

strawberry diseases

leaf spot diseases

Strawberry leaf spot disease is defined as an infestation with one of two possible fungi that cause spots on the leaves. Depending on which fungus is responsible, the spots are either reddish-brown or whitish-grey in the middle. The affected leaves can be so badly affected that they die.

Only appropriate fungicides from specialist shops can help against these diseases. Appropriate prevention is important:

  • Plant strawberries far enough apart
  • remove dead leaves regularly
  • keep plants dry
  • only water directly at the root
  • Change cultivation site after a few years

strawberry powdery mildew

Powdery mildew can be recognized on strawberries as well as on other plants by a white, mealy coating. Affected strawberry leaves can turn reddish and curl up. Fruits can also be infected with powdery mildew, in which case they also have a thin whitish coating.


Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) is one of the strawberry diseases that only affects the fruit. They are covered by a whitish to gray mold lawn and are then of course no longer edible.

Combat and Prevention

  • Fungus overwinters on plant residues, remove them regularly
  • Fungicide treatment is only an aid during flowering
  • thick layer of straw mulch also protects against reinfection

Leather rot and rhizome rot

Although they are different symptoms, they indicate the same fungal disease (Phytophthora cactorum):

  • Rhizome rot: Heart of strawberry plant with rootstock starts to rot
  • Plant dries up and dies
  • Leather rot: affects fruits
  • turn light pink and become soft
  • or they form brown patches with a leathery consistency

Again, these strawberry diseases erupt when there is enough moisture, so it’s important to keep the plants dry and avoid watering the leaves. The fungal spores overwinter in the soil and can make it unusable for strawberries for years. A regular rotation of crops promises to help.

frequently asked Questions

Keeping the strawberry crop healthy and resilient will help prevent it from being attacked by disease or pests. Care for the plants as needed, mulch and keep them dry. Remove suspect leaves and shoots. Regularly change the cultivation site and design the garden as natural as possible in order to settle beneficial insects.

That depends on the pests or diseases affecting the strawberries. There are differences depending on the variety. Hanging strawberries are better protected from snails than strawberries on the ground. Once-bearing, early varieties are better protected from the vinegar fly. Wild strawberries are generally not so susceptible.

Marigolds between the strawberries protect them from nematodes. In addition, marigolds around the strawberry bed can hold back snails. Vapors from onion vegetables are an aid against strawberry diseases caused by fungi

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