Friday, 10 September 2010


Today I finally discovered what happened to my strawberries. Beetles ate them!

Green June Beetle, Cotinis nitida

Beetles ate my strawberries!

I arrived from the garden center today, I had gone there to buy some tulip bulbs, and when I got back and put the things in the garden I discovered a little something crawling happily under one of the strawberry leafs. I look closely and saw that it was a green june beetle larva. I give it a very mean eye it and started to look for more.

I had dealt with green beetles this summer, they ate some of the strawberry flowers and even some of the leaves. It wasn't that big of a problem. I did caught them several times trying to lay eggs on the soil, and I thought I kept them from doing it, but I guess one of them managed to go unnoticed.

My garden 0062 September 10, 2010

I found 10 beetle lava in the soil

I dug all the soil I could around the strawberries and I find ten of them, they seem to be very well developed, not rare since they had plenty of food from all the roots they ate. I will continue to dig around the strawberries to look for them over the next days, maybe I can get them all. I know it's silly, but I don’t want to give up on the strawberries yet. Their particular sweet taste and their ability to give fruit all year round is too special to lose. Now, since it was just beetles, and I caught them, there is a chance, a very, very small chance, that the strawberries will survive. It's much better than cero chance, so I will take it.

My garden 0061 September 10, 2010

Hang in there you can make it

I feel relieved that it's only beetles and not verticillium wilt or other even worst fungus, now at least I know It wasn’t my fault, my watering is good, I did check for beetle eggs every time they dug, but I guess one sneaked up on me. Also in case I can't recover the strawberries I can reuse that pot and soil and the rest of my plants will be free of danger.

Green june beetles are not that dangerous to a garden, they do like to eat fruit and pulpy plants, which can be a problem, and the larva can eat the roots of some plants, but on a normal garden the damage they do is minimal compared to some other pests. However, in my case they were too many in a little container and no other food besides strawberry roots, deadly combination.

My advice to other container gardeners is simple.
Keep an eye open for green beetles, they usually go around early in the morning trying to get food or lay some eggs. And if you see a beetle sized hole that appeared overnight, check for eggs, it just might save your strawberries.


  1. The grubs are horrible looking things and the adult looks like a rhinocerus.

    I don't think we have these beetles in the UK but we do have other grubs that are a problem to plants in pots. Could you tip ot the plant pot and repot the strawberries into fresh compost?

  2. I do want to try and re pot the strawberries, but first i want to let them grow new roots, i don't think they could survive a transplant if i move them now. May be on a week if they make it

  3. Ew! Those are nasty looking creatures!

  4. Eeek, my skin's crawling just looking at them. Glad you found the cause of your problem.

  5. Urgh, horrible. I hope your strawberries make it.

  6. What's that upside down orange bottle? Good luck getting rid of the beetles!

  7. That is some liquid fertilizer.

    I hope the strawberries make it, but it doesn't look good, they look worst every day
    i took out ten more grubs this last days, i wonder how many more are there.

  8. I can understand. I was pretty upset when my tomato plant was being destroyed by bugs. Usually its their babies that do the most harm.

    I know I sound crazy but that beetle actually looks very beautiful to me. It has many different shades of colours.

  9. I would agree with One that the beetle looks really beautiful.

  10. I too love the beetle... well, we are all here for some purpose.


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