Natural Pest Control for Strawberry Plants - FeraxFarm

Natural pest control for strawberry plants helps grow strawberries organically. If you grow strawberries in an organic garden, pests will eventually eat them.

At the same time, birds are a common nuisance for any strawberry grower. Also, many gastropod pests (snails and slugs) can be problematic. 

The most common pests are strawberries, slugs, tarnished plant bugs, strawberry bud weevils, strawberry sap bugs, and spittlebugs. The following are non-chemical organic methods of controlling each.

Strawberry flowers, fruit, root, leaves, and canopy can be affected by diseases, and sometimes these diseases cause the entire plant death. Several problems caused by fungus, slugs, molds, and bacteria can be treated as soon as symptoms appear.  

Here we will look at some natural pest controls for strawberry plants.  

Natural Pest Control for Strawberry Plants

Following are some pests of strawberries and their natural control methods.


You are probably dealing with slugs if you see small, deep holes in strawberry fruit, particularly under the cap. Slugs also leave silvery mucous membranes, which are often seen on leaves. Slugs are usually harmful at night and more severe in humid weather. 

Methods to control slugs, naturally include:

  • Removing leaves and other plant debris around the strawberry plant removes shelter from slugs and prevents their damage.
  • Water the plants deeply but less frequently to prevent—constant moist soil, encouraging slugs.
  • Use a board to trap slugs. Slugs cling to the board when they crawl under it at night. Don’t forget to check the board every morning and remove the slug you find; otherwise, they will come back the next night to eat your strawberries.
  • Using citrus rind traps will help. You can place orange peel, lemon, or lime peel rings around the bottom of strawberry plants. Slugs attract citrus; you can collect slugs every morning to eliminate them.
  • Laying the Diatomaceous earth (DE) barrier 1-inch wide and 3 inches from the plant around the bottom of the plant also helps. DE is a fine powder prepared from marine organisms’ sharp particles. DE irritates slug’s skin, and they do not cross it. DE must be dry, and you have to replace it after rain. 


Spittlebugs are easy to recognize. If you see transparent, bubbly foam on the bottom of the plant, you are dealing with spittlebugs. Spittlebugs are nymph stages of the insect family Cercopoidea, which become adults, commonly referred to as froghoppers.

Nymphs are only about ¼-inch long, and their color is a black or tan brown. Nymphs produce foam as shelter and hiding place, the most common symptom.

The spittlebugs rupture the stem of the plant to feed on plant juice. Damage occurs near ground level and results in barriers and weak or stunted small fruits and plants. Usually, spittlebugs do not kill plants, but severe infections can impede them.

You can control Spittlebugs naturally:

  • Check the plant; if you see saliva, use a strong water blast to kill the pest.
  • At the end of the season, remove the old plant material around the plants. Overwinter eggs of spittlebugs in this garden material and cleaning up can lower the number of eggs that can rematch in the spring.
  • Cover strawberry rows with floating row covers in summer to prevent adult insects from laying eggs on strawberries.
  • Use homemade garlic or chili pepper mixed with water to spray the plants.
  • To prevent infection, use neem or citrus-based insecticide oils.

Also Read: Apple Tree Organic Pest Control

Strawberry Bud Weevils 

Bud weevils of strawberry are sometimes also known as strawberry clippers. They are reddish-brown, with black spots on the back, and have a length of about 1/10-inch. They have a curved snout like most beetles. 

Strawberry bud weevils cause problems when adults get up from the winter in the spring. Using snouts, they attach flower buds of strawberries and feed on the pollen. The female weevil then lays one egg in each bud and girdles the buds that do not open.

These flowers usually fall or hang on the plants. This way, they protect their larvae, which also destroys the possibility that the flower will turn into a berry. Eggs hatch in a week, and adults emerge from infected blossom within 3-4 weeks.

To control weevils, inspect the strawberry plant as soon as they form buds. 

To eliminate them naturally:

  • Remove infected and fallen buds on the ground to prevent winter insects from invading crops the following year.
  • You can spray the plants with insecticide soap if you see weevils, but repeated use may be necessary. No other organic insecticide works well with weevils. 
  • The use of pheromone traps can help to check the weevil population. 

Strawberry Sap Beetle

Adult insects cause strawberry damage. Sap beetles are small oval-shaped insects that are less than 1/8-inch in length. They are dark in color, sometimes having yellow or orange spots.

When the berries begin to ripen in May and June, adult sap beetles attack ripe, almost ripe, rotting fruit by drilling into the berries and eating some of them.

Even though the holes are sometimes tiny, the wounds often cause the fruit to rot. You can control the sap beetles naturally:

  • Harvest strawberries as soon as they ripen. Sap beetles are attracted to ripe fruit.
  • Remove fallen fruit from the ground because the decaying strawberries attract sap beetle.
  • You can bait sap beetle by placing stale beer containers or other overripe fruit like melon or banana away from the strawberry field. Every 3 of 4 days, discard and replace bait containers. 

Tarnished Plant Bug

Tarnished plant insects are small, about 1/4 inch, oval in shape, and greenish, brown, or grey-winged insects. There are several species of tarnished bugs, the most common of which is Lygus lineolaris. 

They possess a brassy or tarnished color. Lineolaris are brown with speckled bronze, yellow, or reddish markings, and each front wing with a yellow triangle has a black tip. 

Adult females appear in the spring. They lay eggs when strawberry buds appear. Females hatch eggs and feed on developing strawberry seeds and flowers, which results in deformed fruits. 

Natural control of Tarnished Bug:

  • Remove plant debris and other weeds around your strawberry lawn to eliminate the environment of egg-laying. 
  • To catch bugs, place white sticky traps around your strawberry garden; check these traps every day to ensure that you do not catch helpful insects.
  • Keep the garden free of weeds during flowering and fruit. Dandelion, smartweed, wild mustard, chickweed, lamb’s quarters, curly dock, and pigweed are the weeds on which tarnished plant bug feeds.
  • At least check the strawberry plants twice a week before they bloom for signs of tarnished bugs. If you see bugs in the plants, insecticidal soap can be helpful. 
  • Use floating protective covers on strawberry plants. It is best to install immediately at planting time.
  • Any strawberry that shows signs of damage must also be removed as it will not grow well.
  • Garlic spray prevents insects from feeding and laying eggs on the fruit.


When you grow strawberries in your garden, eventually, pests will be there to feed on them. While birds are a problem for this fruit, several insects and pests are also dangerous.

Common pests include slugs, Spittlebugs, Strawberry Bud Weevils, Strawberry Sap Beetle, and Tarnished Plant Bug for strawberry.

Using different natural pest control for strawberry plants can naturally control these pests without spending much money on purchasing synthetic chemicals.



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