WSU Extension


Strawberry : Aphids
(revision date: 5/6/2014)

Aphids are small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects. They vary in color from yellow to green to brownish. Aphids on strawberries are typically found on the underside of leaves along veins and on new shoots and buds in the crown of the plant. Infested plants may be stunted, and leaves may be crinkled and deformed. Feeding aphids produce large amounts of honeydew, a sweet, sticky material which may attract honeydew-feeding ants or become covered with a dark growth of sooty mold. Honeydew and sooty mold can reduce the quality of fruit. Aphids can also transmit several virus diseases of strawberry.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Plant varieties that are resistant to aphid-transmitted viruses. Among these are 'Benton', 'Shuksan', 'Sumas', 'Puget Reliance', and 'Totem'.
  • Encourage natural enemies including ladybird beetles, lacewings, syrphid (hover) fly larvae, and parasitic wasps. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill beneficial insects.
  • Control honeydew-feeding ants, which may protect aphid colonies from predators.
  • Provide proper nutrition. High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage aphid reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer when practical.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Chemicals applied for aphid control have not prevented the spread of virus diseases in strawberries, and aphid damage has not warranted the use of control measures; therefore, no chemical control is suggested.

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Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: Unknown
Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: Unknown
Caption: Aphid cast skins
Photo by: R.S. Byther