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What is eating my strawberries? Every other morning I come to my patch and see the ripening berries are getting eaten ( see photo attached).

I have added a net over the top to try and deter birds. I cannot see any bugs when I check the plants and cannot see any slime trails from snails or slugs.

Would also appreciate strategies on how to stop the pest if anyone is able to help identify it.

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You may want to consider putting some sort of plastic cover under/around the strawberry plants. It is likely that your strawberries are touching the soil and there are lots of insects in the soil that may be chewing on your strawberries (including slugs). If you put some sort of plastic sheet on the soil, the strawberries won't touch the soil and less likelihood of soil insects from eating the berries. I have seen some of the professional strawberry farms do this and that is where I got the idea. Hope this helps.

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It looks like slugs to me. You say you don't see slime trails, but slugs may be very tiny with very tiny trails.

Here the difference between bird or slug damage.

You can try to capture the slugs, there are many ways, both with professional chemicals (Cu) or with simple over-the-counter solutions.

  • Thanks. I am currently looking for a safe method of killing snail/slugs. – RDub Nov 6 '17 at 15:22
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    Go out at night with a flash light. If you have slugs and snails you should be able to see lots of slugs/snails...you should be able to see a few slime trails on your strawberry plants for sure. If not then you do not have to worry about killing slugs. Or snails. The number one rule for using pesticides is know your enemy. Make sure that enemy is really the enemy, no guessing. Before sentencing, go through due process, grins. Or you could create far worse problems. I've lived in slug country. Get rid of slug housing number one. Go out at night with scissors and flashlight and chop! – stormy Nov 7 '17 at 0:45
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    Slug's love stones, especially those lining the perimeter of plant beds and the lawn. Chunky bark mulch. Old lumber debris. Too thickly piled grass clippings and un-turned kitchen compost. Same with piles of leaves. They love plastic 'weed fabric'...moisture. Do you have automatic irrigation? The most effective way I've found (and I have to say I must be an expert having tried everything) is flash light, scissors and chop chop. Lawns are great for this. Slugs go out on top of the lawn to have fun? Forget slug bait, beer, diatomacious earth, copper...a week of nights? – stormy Nov 7 '17 at 0:52
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    Floating row cloth works for slugs, too. If that is what you have. Clean out the bed and plants before putting the cover over your crop. Make sure nothing can crawl under the cover. Check for newly hatched slugs...first gotta know what you've got for sure... – stormy Nov 7 '17 at 0:54
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You've got rats or mice or voles nibbling on your strawberries by the looks of the chew marks. Probably just mice. Got cats? Neighborhood cats? Feed them and they'll take care of your place for sure. Cats allowed out of doors chose very definite 'routes' and their homes and their own humans. No better method for mice control. Keep some cat food around to entice their services. Floating row cloth works fairly well if you pile dirt on the edges so mice have a tough time crawling in. Voles wouldn't have too much difficulty getting in. Cover and secure floating row cover over your cash crops and put some juicy stuff in your compost pile for them to eat. Poison ends up killing cats and dogs and birds who catch the mice. Have your tomatoes been eaten? Egg plant?

  • We do have neighbourhood cats but they don’t often come to our garden anymore as we have a large dog :/ – RDub Nov 6 '17 at 15:11
  • I have only just planted some more veges and herbs (basil, salad greens and peas) all of those seem fine so far – RDub Nov 7 '17 at 0:09

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