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How to prevent bugs from killing your strawberry plants (all options)

Photos of strawberry plant eaten by bugs and healthy strawberry plant

There are so many ways to ensure that we harvest beautiful strawberries that insects haven’t eaten, beginning with companion plants. Other preventative measures include covering our strawberry rows using floating row covers during the warm months. We can spray our plants with a DIY solution created with water and garlic or chili pepper(among others.) Prevent infestations with essential oil or an insecticidal oil made from citrus.

Strawberries are precious and have so many benefits. Also, they look beautiful in a fruit cup, on your dessert, cocktail and the list goes on. The worst thing that could happen after putting a lot of effort into planting strawberries, is for bugs to devour them. 

Let’s look at the many ways we can avoid getting our beloved fruit eaten by insects.

How to prevent Bugs from killing your Strawberry Plants

Strawberries are a popular fruit to grow in home gardens because they take up little space, are attractive, and may produce large, delicious strawberries if properly cared for. However, these fruits are prone to insect attacks. 

Using natural household items or chemical insecticides to keep bugs off your strawberry plants can be done organically. Strawberry plants must also be planted correctly to produce a healthy plant that is less prone to pests.

If you are a gardener, or simply interested in gardening, you may be curious about the different ways to protect your plants from bugs. Bugs are horrible for your plants and, over time, they tend to damage the health of the plant. This can lead to your strawberry plant not producing any strawberries at all.

Many different methods have been found to prevent bugs from killing strawberry plants. Some are more effective than others, but it is still important to know all your options. At the end of the day, protecting your strawberry plant should be your main objective. 

1. Prevent bugs from killing your strawberry plants

To avoid an infestation, you must kill pests as soon as you notice them. Strawberry illnesses can be spread by insects that consume the leaves, stems, and berries. Prevention is the greatest approach to avoiding a domino effect. 

To keep bugs away from your plants, use a natural insecticide like neem oil, garlic, or hot peppers, and kill large insects by hand as soon as you see them.

When safeguarding strawberries from bugs, insects, and other pests, we use organic pest management measures. Hot pepper spray, rotten eggs, blood meal, castor oil, orange peels, detergent, and human hair are all-natural ways to keep pests away from strawberries.

2. Companion plants to prevent bugs on strawberry plants

Companion plants are plants used to deter bugs and insects from our strawberry plants. These plants typically produce a very strong fragrance that bugs tend to dislike. Many plants do a great job of repelling bugs.

For example: 

Lavender is a great deterrent for bugs because they produce essential oils that have been shown to keep bugs and insects away for up to 8 hours. 

Basil leaves contain substances that can kill mosquito larvae before they hatch, which could assist with minimizing the number of mosquitoes and bugs in your yard.  Basil plants can also attract pollinators, which will help your yard and garden grow… plus their leaves produce a tasty pesto. 

3. Soap and water to get rid of bugs on your strawberry plants

Most people are unaware that soap is a very insidious ant killer. Soap works by destroying the ant’s exoskeleton, preventing them from drinking water. They eventually dehydrate and perish. 

The bugs will swiftly die off if you sprinkle a small bit of dish detergent into the water you spray on your plants, and they will no longer harm your plants. 

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To prepare a strong solution that can kill the bugs attacking your strawberry bushes, all you need is a tablespoon of soap in each cup. 

Alternatively, you can walk straight to the anthill and douse it in soapy water to kill them all at once. In a gallon of water, boil two tbsp of lye if you want to be sure.

For the most part, soap is a great alternative since it’s not a thing you have to go out and buy. 

It’s a cost-effective option that most people already have in their homes, so you won’t have to go out of your way to purchase it. You can stop reading this advice right now and go out and knock those bugs out of your strawberry bushes.

4. Bug spray that kill bugs that are killing your strawberry plants

While bug spray is usually a very popular option, many people still fear using bug spray due to the fear of chemicals potentially killing their plants. However, there are many options, homemade and store-bought, that don’t use harmful chemicals. 

Many commercial pesticides are designed to disrupt biological processes, resulting in soil, water, and other vegetation damage. Pesticides are hazardous to a variety of creatures, including fish, birds, and helpful insects like bees, in addition to insects and weeds.

Pesticide exposure has also been related to a variety of human health problems, including endocrine disruption, cancer, and birth defects. You will be making a better, safer decision for yourself, your family, and the environment if you commit to utilizing alternative pesticides.

Garlic Spray

Garlic is a great repellent for bugs because they generally hate the smell. Boiling water and mixing it with garlic has proven to keep bugs away for a long period because the aroma lasts for a long time. 

Store-bought bug sprays can also be used to prevent and eliminate bugs. It is important to do your research before choosing a specific brand. Different brands use different chemicals in their formulas that you might want to avoid. Some of these chemicals are extremely harmful to the plants and can kill them over time.

Unlike homemade remedies, bug spray is typically used to kill bugs. After the spray is applied to your strawberry plant, the bug will ingest it while trying to attach itself to your plant. As previously stated, some of these chemicals can be harmful over time to yourself and your strawberry plant. 

5. Essential oils can help get rid of bugs on your strawberry plants

Essential Oils are a great choice to use to prevent pesky bugs from harming your plants. The best part about essential oils is that they are 100% natural. Essential oils are extracted directly from the plant and are even safe enough to be used on the human body. This is one of the best choices to deter bugs.

Peppermint oil can help keep pests away from your houseplants, mostly because it is 100 percent pure and ethically obtained. Place a drop or two of the oil on a cotton ball near your plants or in an area where you observe insects frequently.

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Bugs are attracted to the sweet smell and taste produced by the strawberries on the plant, so you must use a smell that can counteract this smell. 

You can also make your all-natural room spray by combining essential oils with mosquito-repelling characteristics. Basil, bergamot, thyme, lavender, and tea tree all work well in this recipe. 

Essential oils aren’t only great for the plant, but they’re great for the environment. Since it is all-natural, it won’t harm wildlife or other insects, and it is simply a measure used to repel bugs, not harm them. 

Many think of this as the better option because it does far better for their strawberry plants in the long run. 

6. Cover your strawberry plants to protect them from bugs

Keeping your plants covered might be a great idea for keeping bugs away. A floating row cover can prevent bugs from getting inside while still allowing sunlight in. A floating row cover is a sheet that goes over the top of your plants. 

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Bugs can come from beneath the soil. This is why it is also important to enclose the plants from underneath as well, so the bugs have no point of entry. This is a relatively budget option to prevent bugs from destroying your strawberry plants. 

Keeping your plants covered is also a great way to keep them protected at night against frost as well as insects. You can remove the covers in the morning to allow as much sunlight as possible since you will be able to have flexibility. You can directly cover the crops with floating row coverings. 

When covering rows, give enough slack so that the cover can “stretch” as the crop grows. If you’re utilizing a floating row cover for bug control, you must thoroughly bury the edges.

Types of Covers

Lightweight covers: Lightweight covers are the most affordable and ideal for most crops. They will shelter plants from drying winds, but the temperature beneath the cover will only rise somewhat. 

They do not require support due to their small weight. This is also great for home gardens and smaller crops.

Medium weight covers medium weight coverings aid in crop maturation and production growth. 

They can be used to lengthen the season in the spring and fall by holding heat. These usually require support due to their heavier weight.

Heavyweight cover: Heavyweight covers give frost protection up to 8°F, making them ideal for extending the growing season for cool-season crops early and late. 

They can boost crop growth, especially for warm-season crops, by raising ambient daily temperatures by 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more. These are not intended for home gardens because of their larger size. 

7. Crop Rotation

Crop rotation refers to the planting of various types of crops on the exact piece of property to ensure healthy soil, boost nutrients, and resist bugs and weed pressure.

You must do this about every year, and the same applies to your home garden. You want to limit the chances of bugs developing a home and this is a tactic used to prevent this. 

The last thing you want to do is allow bugs to create a home around your strawberry plants. Different plants require different nutrients and are vulnerable to various illnesses and pests.

When a farmer plants the same crop in the same spot year after year, as is customary in conventional farming, she takes the same nutrients from the soil. 

Pests and illnesses are happy to make themselves at home because their chosen food source is always available. Crop rotation allows nutrients to return to the soil without the use of synthetic fertilizers.

You disrupt disease and pest cycles and enhance the health of the soil, by boosting biomass from the structures of varying crop roots, and the biodiversity of the farm grows. Variety is essential for life in the soil, and beneficial insects and pollinators are drawn to it above ground as well.

8. Keep an Eye on Your Strawberry Plants (don’t plant ’em and forget ’em)

One of the best methods for the prevention of bugs is checking on your strawberry plant consistently. You must check on your plant a few times each week. This is to ensure your plant is healthy and bug-free. 

The longer you go without checking on your plant, the more opportunities bugs have to try to destroy your precious strawberry plant.  

healthy strawberry plant

Maintaining healthy soil is also extremely important in preventing bugs. Bugs spend most of their lives underground, and if your soil isn’t maintained, it is easier for them to survive down there. 

You’ll have to keep an eye on your garden regularly as a gardener. You’ll have to properly clean the garden by eliminating the dead leaves, blossoms, and weeds from the gardening region. 

You need to watch the bug’s hiding place and leave the egg scars in your garden.

Getting Rid of Aphids

Aphids

Aphids, tiny bugs, are a common food source for bugs. Aphids are drawn to the smell of sweet plants, hence they frequently infest them. 

Bugs are drawn to the nectar produced by aphids as well as the sweet flavor of the strawberries themselves. It seems to reason that if the aphids are eradicated, the bugs will follow.

Even without the bugs, aphids can be detrimental to your strawberry plants. They consume the fruit and potentially infect your plants with diseases.

If your leaves are yellowing or wilting, you may have an aphid infestation. The bugs may leave freely if you rapidly remove those leaves and take other measures to eliminate the aphids.

Why are Bugs Bad For Strawberry Plants?

Strawberry plant damaged by bugs

It is no secret bugs are terrible for your strawberry plants, but why exactly? Bugs can destroy your plants over time and make them rot. If left alone, they will multiply and not only destroy your strawberry plants, but all your fruit plants.

Bugs are attracted to the sweet smell of strawberries and strawberry plants don’t have any natural defenses against bugs and pests. They will chew on the strawberries and many times leave eggs in or around the strawberry which makes it then infested. 

Unlike other insects, bugs don’t usually chew on the leaves of the strawberry plant, but just the strawberry itself. They suck the juices of the fruit, which leaves the strawberries looking wittles and drooping over. Not only is this a bad look for your plant, but it can be extremely harmful to the environment. 

Bugs also weaken your plants and affect their ability to produce new fruits. It is very frustrating to watch your strawberries grow just for pesky bugs to destroy them.