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Are aphids a problem in strawberries? YES


April 8, 2013
By Pam Fisher OMAF

Topics
Aphids on strawberry leaves. OMAF

April 8, 2013 – The strawberry aphid can be a problem in strawberries because it is a vector of several virus diseases, including strawberry mottle virus, strawberry mild yellow edge virus, and strawberry vein-banding virus. These aphid-born virus diseases were common in many strawberry fields last year. The presence of two or more viruses may be contributing to the early decline and low vigour that many growers are noticing in their fields.

The strawberry aphid has a restricted host range, feeding only on strawberries and closely related wild hosts such as potentilla and cinquefoil. Virus diseases that build up in older strawberry plantings can be easily spread by strawberry aphid to new fields. It overwinters on strawberry plants and builds up on new growth. Populations generally peak in May or June in Ontario. It is important to control strawberry aphid early in the season on established fields, and shortly after planting in new plantings.

Start with an early season soil application of Admire 240F, or Alias 240SC, followed up if necessary by applications of Thionex EC or Thionex 50W. If you don’t use a high volume soil application of Admire 240F or Alias 240SC, you can use Admire 240F at a lower rate, as a foliar spray, but bee toxicity is a greater big concern with this option. Assail 70WP, Thionex 50W or Thionex EC can also be sprayed as foliar sprays for aphids. Do not neglect new plantings.

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See OMAF and MRA publication #360, Guide to Fruit Production, and the product labels for complete details.

The strawberry aphid is a problem in strawberries, because it is a vector of virus disease. Ontario strawberry growers should change their pest management programs to include early season aphid control.