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my poor raspberries....

Posted by steve_in_los_osos CA 10a/Sunset 17 (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 13:31

Last year it was the dreaded bugs with the sail-like chartreuse wings and their cottony larvae. So I cut everything down, sprayed the heck out of the plants, up-potted and waited.

Beautiful, lush new growth in the Spring was immediately attacked by spider mites. Grrr.......

So I got those pests on the run and the plants just exploded with wonderful growth. Then the holes started appearing:

The "Anne" plants seem more affected than the "Heritage", but both have been savaged and even my boysenberries have shown a lot of damage. No damage on the blackberries.

I've seen green worms (darned cabbage moths somehow get into the netted enclosure and then can't get out) but the principal culprits seem to be these:

I started dousing with BT was as soon as the holes began appearing because I've had lighter damage in the past and I wanted to stay ahead of it. But the BT seems to do no good.

Short of poisoning myself, how can I check this infestation (raspberry saw flies?) and perhaps head it off better in the future?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: my poor raspberries....

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 14:23

Sometimes its easier to grow something else, and let go of a particular crop. I am able to stay ahead of raspberry cane borers that damage our patch, by pruning away infected canes. The patch is vigorous and seems to recover with new growth. But I have never had the level of damage that you are seeing. I also brush japanese beetles off the raspberry plants, and into "the soapy cup of death," periodically. That might work against your infestation, but there is time and effort required.

RE: my poor raspberries....

The various fly larvae are tough to control because they will drop to the soil in your pots and pupate there, the adults will emerge next spring.

Cabbage butterflies do not use rubus as a hostplant, they use plants like nasturtiums and cabbage relatives. The worm in the photo does not look like a cabbage white caterpillar and could be sawfly larva.

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