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  • How can I treat sap beetles on plants?

    Created by Dave Knothe on


    I planted 2 beautiful beds (15 X 5 each) of strawberries. They were producing beautiful fruit and then the Lygus bugs attacked. Following that came the strawberry sap beetles and they are eating the ripe green and everything in between. It there an organic solution to this situation. I did a heavy spray with neem oil, little effect.


  • Author
  • #280084

    Eric Vinje

    Hi Dave –

    Sap beetles are difficult to treat because they almost always attack ripe fruits that are ready for harvest. I do not feel comfortable recommending a botanical spray application on ripe fruit that’s ready to eat. While botanical insecticides have fewer harmful side effects and break down more quickly in the environment than synthetic pesticides, they are still toxic and should be used with great care.

    I think your best best now is to harvest all berries and treat with a short-lived, natural insecticide to knock down existing beetles. While this does nothing to prevent additional beetles from moving into the area, it may reduce pest numbers enough to salvage future harvests. Make sure to harvest fruit as it ripens to eliminate both the odor and availability of susceptible fruits.

    Note: When spraying edible crops, it is important to follow the product label and observe the time period between application and when you can harvest.

    Hope it helps!

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