NC State Extension Publications

Biology

Strawberry rootworm (Paria fragariae) is typically only found in perennial strawberry production and are actually more significant pests in ornamental plants. Strawberry rootworm adults are small (18 inch long) beetles with a light brown abdomen with 4 large dark spots and a deep, dark brown thorax. Adult beetles overwinter in protected areas and emerge in mid spring and remain active until early summer.

Strawberry rootworm adult.

Strawberry rootworm adult.

Chazz Hesselein, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Bugwood.org

strawberry rootworm adult

Strawberry rootworm adult.

Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

Damage in Strawberries

Female beetles lay eggs are laid on older, lower canopy leaves. Strawberry rootworm larvae, or grubs, feeds on the roots of strawberries, but this damage is rarely economically significant.

Adults beetles feed on leaves leaving small, round holes about 116 inch in diameter.

strawberry rootworm damage

Adult strawberry rootworm feeding in ornamental crop.

Chazz Hesselein, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Bugwood.org

Sampling

Adult beetles can be sampled via direct observations, sweep netting, or shaking plants over white sheets or paper. Strawberry rootworm adults typically feed after sunset, so it may be useful to visit damaged areas of the field in the evening.

Management Options

Infestations of strawberry rootworm in North Carolina are rare, and this pest is not included in recommendations in the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual or the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium Strawberry IPM Guide for regional recommendations. For other states, check with your local extension agent.

Author:

Associate Professor and Extension Specialist
Entomology

Publication date: June 25, 2014

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