Seeking Volunteers to Track Strawberry Clipper Weevils!

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Buds damaged by strawberry clipper weevil, and (inset) strawberry clipper weevil egg inside bud. Photo: Hannah Burrack

Buds damaged by strawberry clipper weevil, and (inset) strawberry clipper weevil egg inside bud. Photo: Hannah Burrack

We are seeking strawberry growers willing to let us scout their fields for early season strawberry clipper activity. Graduate student Doug McPhie has spent the last two springs tracking strawberry clipper activity throughout North Carolina strawberry fields and has developed a degree day model we believe can be used to help time when they start damaging plants (by “clipping” developing flower buds). However, to be sure our degree day model works, we need to validate it this year by determining if it accurately predicts when clipper damage begins. To do this, we need to visit strawberry fields, starting now!

Timing clipper activity is very important for management. We do not recommend making preventative insecticide applications for clippers, and “rescue” insecticides must be carefully timed not only to when the pest is active but also to minimize exposure to pollinators that may be visiting blooming plants!

At each field visit, we will observe plants along 3-4 rows, count the total number of flower buds, the number of clipper damaged buds (if any are present), and remove any damaged buds to determine the age of egg or larvae inside. We expect to visit each farm 1-2 times during the next two weeks.

Please contact us (hannah_burrack@ncsu.edu) if you are interested in participating! We will share an update on how well the model works after we make these observations.

More information

Strawberry clipper postsNCSU Entomology Portal