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Completed project

The effects of different species of true bugs on strawberries (BS12026)

Key research provider: IPM Technologies
Publication date: Friday, June 13, 2014

What was it all about?

The Victorian strawberry industry began to change over to an integrated pest management approach to invertebrate pests in 2008. As a result, there was vastly improved control of key pests, western flower thrips and two-spotted mite with reduced reliance on insecticides.

However, in 2009 crop mirid, an insect that had not previously been recognised as a pest, caused severe damage to Victorian strawberry crops. This outbreak of damage raised many questions about which species of bugs occur in strawberries and which of these species cause economic damage.

This project aimed to provide a clearer understanding of which species of ‘true bugs’ are most likely to cause an economic loss. The species tested in this trial were…

  • Rutherglen bug
  • Green mirid
  • Brown mirid
  • Crop mirid
  • Lygaeidae species.

Trials were carried out during one season, using potted Albion plants. The impact of different species of true bugs on strawberry formation was assessed by caging flowers with known numbers and species of the bugs. Assessments were made when the fruit was fully developed and had turned red.

The results of this project show that Rutherglen bugs can cause some minor damage but species of mirid bugs (Family Miridae) usually cause severe damage. Lygaeid bugs (Family Lygaeidae) were found to cause no damage in our trials.

It was recommended from the research that the industry considers trialling trap crops (such as lucerne) as a possible cultural control method for managing bugs.

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2014. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).