Strawberry Slugs

Slugs are a problem on strawberries because the fruit is close to, or on, the soil.  Slugs are mollusks and are related to snails, but have no shell.  The way they feed on the strawberry fruit is to rasp the surface, kind of like a scraping away of each layer.  They can cause significant damage if not controlled.  Sanitation near the strawberry plants can help — remove debris, including mulch and leaves that provide habitat for the slugs.  Mulch may be important to manage weeds, so only remove it if feasible.  Proper watering can also help.  Slugs prefer moist conditions, so water deeply but with less frequency.  Allowing leaves to dry may deter slugs.  Sprays and other compounds are available for control.  Contact your local county extension office for more details.  Below is a photo of typical slug damage to strawberries:

Slug feeding in a strawberry

Slug feeding in a strawberry

 

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