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Strawberry Worms


 
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Blowin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:23 am    Post subject: Strawberry Worms Reply with quote

We've got a pretty large crop of strawberries again this year but some have clusters of very fine, light coloured worms wriggling about in and on them. Does anyone know what they are? If so, is there any treatment/cure for them?
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mcgrueser
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 109
Location: Wicklow

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you got straw underneath the plants for the fruit to sit on top of? Keeps them off the ground. Very beneficial for a number of reasons, one being it's very difficult for slugs etc to get to them as it keeps them off the wet ground...
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Blowin
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Answer - No, we haven't. But then, not really as a defence, we never have. It's just that these tiny worms, probably only 0.25mm thick and 12mm long, have appeared for the first time in 8 years.
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder are they the larval stage of some beetle or other insect? Have you tried googling strawberry pests?
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Blowin
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I have but nothing remotely fills the bill. That's what puzzles me. I have wondered about putting down ground control fabric (before these pests showed up) and replanting all the plants in 'X' slits, so stifling the couch grass, nettles and black currant seedlings that regularly poke through the strawberries. I've resisted the temptation, a) on grounds of cost and, b) because I don't know if it would last with the Catering Manager going on to it to pick the fruit.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just cannot get the staff these days can you Blowin? Put up a picture of the little bugger and maybe Silver Surfers cousin, who is a fauna expert could help you out.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin asked me to post up this picture on his behalf.
Is it an eel worm?



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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They look like millipedes to me, but what kind, I've no idea. They are certainly not eelworms, which are a kind of flatworm. I've no idea what to do to get rid of them. Is it possible you need to burn those plants and plant new ones elsewhere?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count the legs. Count the legs.
There won't be a thousand. When hatched they only have 3 pairs of legs. Is there two pairs of legs per segment? That should tell you if they are in the millipede family or not.

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Blowin
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We certainly shan't bother to replant if we get rid of these. They were freebies anyway out of cast off growbags and every year, when we're flat out harvesting and freezing them twice per day, Management vows we'll get rid of them. Even the neighbours hurry past in case we load more strawberries on to them.

If it's a parasite of the plant, I'll just get rid of them and be done with them but, if it's something that's colonised the plot and is attacking the fruit only, and if we do dispose of them, I can offer them to anyone who wants them locally.

There must be some boffin who knows what they are?

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bring them to your local Teagasc agent if nobody here can help you.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Here's a pic of millipedes in strawberries. They've come from under damp straw. If the area is kept dry, you won't have them again next year.They don't like dry.

(Mid-West boffin.) Smile Smile

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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, Kindred Spirit. It looks as though you've solved the riddle.

Thanks, Tom, for posting my pic.

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