What’s Eating Your Strawberry Leaves? A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying Pests

Caterpillars of several kinds, including the strawberry crown borer and the strawberry leafroller, are known to eat holes in strawberry leaves. Strawberries are a popular fruit worldwide, known for their sweet taste and versatility in various desserts and beverages.

However, these bright red berries are also quite prone to pests that can damage the leaves, flowers, and fruit itself. One of the most common problems that strawberry growers face is holes in strawberry leaves. These holes can be caused by a variety of pests, including slugs, snails, and worms. Among these pests, caterpillars are significant culprits. The strawberry crown borer, for example, is a type of caterpillar that eats through the center of the strawberry plant, leaving behind a trail of destruction. In contrast, the strawberry leafroller feeds on the surface of the leaves, leaving behind small holes and frass. In this article, we will explore the various pests that can cause holes in strawberry leaves and how to prevent and manage them.

What's Eating Your Strawberry Leaves? A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying Pests

Credit: savvygardening.com


Healthy strawberry plants are vital for a good yield. Pests can cause considerable damage to these plants, including making holes in strawberry leaves. Identifying the pests that cause damage is necessary to prevent it from happening. Some common pests that can eat holes in strawberry leaves are slugs, weevils, beetles, and caterpillars.

These pests can not only impact the quality but also the quantity of the yield. Therefore, it is essential to take measures to prevent these pests from harming the plants. Ensuring healthy soil, adequate water supply, and proper planting techniques can help prevent pest infestations.

Maintaining a vigilant eye on the plant’s health and taking appropriate precautions will go a long way in protecting your strawberry harvest.

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Identifying Strawberry Plant Pests

Identifying strawberry plant pests strawberry plants are not immune to pests, and identifying them can be crucial to keep them healthy. Tarnished plant bugs, with their elongated oval body and bristly hairs, cause yellowing and small holes on the strawberry leaves.

To prevent them, avoid planting near weed beds, and use neem oil or insecticidal soap. The japanese beetle requires immediate action as they can destroy a whole strawberry plant. They are oval, metallic green with copper-colored wings. Handpick and place them in soapy water.

Use row covers, and spray with insecticide as a last resort. Slugs and snails are mollusks that damage the leaves and fruits. Use copper strips around the plants and remove debris. To combat strawberry bud weevils, prune during late winter and in early spring to remove infestations, and apply insecticide after bud formation.

Spider mites, identified by their tiny red or yellow spots on leaves, thrive in hot and dry environments. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to keep them away.

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Strawberry plants are prone to damage by various pests. Recap of pests and their characteristics reveals that spider mites and slugs are common culprits that cause holes in strawberry leaves. Early identification and prevention play a crucial role in safeguarding plants from further damage.

It is important to remove any damaged leaves, weeds, and debris from the soil to prevent infestation. For protecting your strawberry plants from pests, it is recommended to use non-toxic and organic pest control solutions. Lastly, it’s essential to avoid overcrowding of plants and to maintain good soil moisture levels to keep your strawberry plants healthy and disease-free.


After researching and discussing the potential culprits of holes in strawberry leaves, it seems the most likely suspects are slugs, snails, and tarnished plant bugs. While these pests can be a nuisance and cause damage to strawberry plants, there are a variety of ways to prevent and manage their impact.

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Some home remedies such as beer traps, copper rings, and diatomaceous earth may offer a solution to control the infestation. Additionally, practicing good garden hygiene and ensuring plant health can also help in preventing pest damage. As with any garden issue, it’s essential to observe the symptoms, diagnose the problem accurately, and take action swiftly.

With a little knowledge and effort, you can enjoy healthy and abundant strawberry plants and avoid any frustration caused by pesky critters. Keep your strawberries happy, and they’ll keep you happy with their sweet and succulent fruit!