Sciarid control in strawberry

In recent years sciarid flies (Sciaridae) can be a real nuisance in the cultivation of tray plants (strawberry). They gnaw shoots and cause damage to young roots. As a result of wounding, mould can enter a plant. Consequently many plants will be lost because of fungal infection (last year this caused a lot of trouble at many companies). Adult sciarid flies can also transmit fungal spores.

Sciarid flies have the following stages of development: egg, four larval stages, pupa and adult. Eggs are deposited in the ground. The larvae live in soil with organic material, moulds and roots. Pupation takes place in the ground.
To obtain a good control of these larvae it is important to observe the sciarid fly population in your tray field closely by means of sticky traps. During the first two weeks of cutting it is best to check sticky traps several times to be able to monitor the flights well. This allows us to start nematode treatments in time. We use Steinernema feltiae for this application. After spraying or pouring at a dose of 0.5 million/m², the nematodes start looking actively for sciarid larvae and penetrate them. The nematodes feed on the content of the larva and specific bacteria are released from the intestinal canal of the nematodes. These bacteria transform tissue into products that are easily absorbed by the nematodes. Sciarid larvae die within a couple of days. Affected larvae turn yellow to brown and after some time they decompose, releasing a new generation of nematodes.

Generally 1 or 2 treatments will do. Moreover it is important to continue a good fungicide scheme to protect the plants from eventual fungal diseases.
To monitor the flights of sciarid flies well, you can always contact our sales representatives. They can provide you a picture of the sciarid fly so that in the future you can take care of the monitoring yourself.

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