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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Injury to Strawberry Crowns Caused by European Corn Borer Larvae

Authors
item Maas, John
item ENNS, JOHN
item Hokanson, Stan
item HELLMICH, RICHARD

Submitted to: Wheat Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Larvae of several insects injure and kill strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) plants by burrowing into and hollowing out plant crowns. Occasionally these infestations are serious enough to cause heavy economic losses to fruit producers and nursery plant growers. In 1997 in Beltsville, Maryland, we observed wilting and dying of mature plants and unrooted runner plants in two experimental strawberry plantings. Injury to crowns was extensive with large cavities created by larvae and to stolons and leaf petioles with the central pith tissues removed. Often, insect frass was seen at entrance holes. Larvae removed from hollowed out parts of injured plants were identified as the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hubner). This is the first published report of the European corn borer attacking strawberry. Although this insect may occur only sporadically in strawberry plantings, it may become important in the future. Growers and other professionals should become aware of this new strawberry pest and recognize that its management in strawberry will be different from management of other crown-boring insects.

Technical Abstract: Larvae of several insects injure and kill strawberry plants by burrowing into and hollowing out plant crowns. Occasionally these infestations are serious enough to cause heavy economic losses to fruit producers and nursery plant growers. In 1997 in Beltsville, Maryland, we observed wilting and dying mature plants and unrooted runner plants in two experimental strawberry plantings. Injury to crowns was extensive with large cavities created by larvae and to stolons and leaf petioles with the central pith tissues removed. Often, insect frass was seen at entrance holes. Larvae removed from hollowed out parts of injured plants were identified as the European corn borer. This is the first published report of the European corn borer attacking strawberry. Although this insect may occur only sporadically in strawberry plantings, it may become important in the future. Growers and other professionals should become aware of this new strawberry pest and recognize that its management in strawberry will be different from management of other crown- boring insects.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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