Why are there many flies on a blackberry and what to do with them?

Blackberry - not the most popular berry in Russia, it is not grown here on an industrial scale, such as in the United States. But increasingly, Russian summer residents pay attention to this plant, preferring to all the familiar raspberries. These types of berries belong to the same family - Rosaceae. But, unlike its relative, the blackberry has a greater resistance to diseases and pests .However, this does not mean that the berry does not require care and protection from insects. In this article, we will consider what pests you can find on a blackberry, in particular, flies, the causes of their occurrence and ways to combat them.

Table of contents

  • Why do pests appear on the blackberry?
  • Flies on blackberry shoots and berries: their varieties and ways of dealing with them.

    Blackberries can be attacked by pests for the following reasons:

    1. The distinction between blackberry and raspberry is becoming increasingly blurred. Many modern high-quality blackberry varieties in their genotypes have the raspberry gene
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      , and these two varieties are often grown next door. All this leads to a gradual loss by the berry of its natural resistance to diseases and pests.
    Blackberry is a close relative of raspberry
    1. In addition to raspberry, blackberry also can not be planted near the thickets of strawberries, wild rose and roses .Berries also have common pests with these plants.
    2. Often gardeners themselves become the cause of the spread of pests on berry plantations, buying seedlings not from large nurseries, but from random people, for example, selling from the metro. Either the option is even worse when the plant is purchased on trips abroad. Why not do this? No matter how large the berries promise you, should not be bought untested varieties that are unadapted to your region. Because of the dubious plant, you risk creating an outbreak of an unknown disease in your garden, or spreading insect pests throughout the territory.
    3. Lack of proper care of the plant .To keep the blackberry healthy and to please you with a bountiful harvest, it needs to be fed, sprayed from insects, protected from weeds.
    If you do not want to risk blackberry harvest, it is better to take care of plant protection from pests in advance. For this you need to know with whom you have to fight. And the first enemies you may encounter are flies flying over the bushes.

    Flies on blackberry shoots and berries: their varieties and ways of dealing with them

    Among the flies indifferent to blackberries, the following insect varieties can be distinguished.

    Raspberry Stem Fly

    Raspberry Stem Fly

    A small, gray-colored insect whose length does not exceed 5 mm. For the winter, the fly takes cover in the top layer of soil, and leaves its shelter just in time for the young shoots of the blackberry to grow. In the south of Russia, this occurs in mid-late April, and in the middle lane, around mid-May.

    Knowing the time of departure of the insect, you can pre-treat the upper parts of the young shoots with drugs such as Actellic or Spark. In the event of a severe pest damage( up to 50%), chemical treatment will be the only way to save the crop.

    After the fly leaves the ground, it begins to reproduce the offspring. The place for laying eggs are the sinuses in the upper parts of the leaves of the blackberry. The larva hatches from the egg, and it is the one that causes the greatest damage to the plant, gnawing through the stems in the spiral paths. As a result, the shoot starts to wither, starting from the top, and later on it turns black and decays along with the berries.

    To save such a plant can only pruning damaged shoots. There are two ways:

    1. Trimming the shoot completely, right up to the ground .This method is used as a last resort, when the larva has already reached the base of escape. Cutting off damaged areas of blackberry in this way, you will lose a significant part of the crop.
    2. As soon as the top of the shoot begins to wither, and the leaves turn black at the tips, immediately cut the branches into half .The cut parts of the branches must be burned to destroy the larvae. This method will not only help to preserve the crop, but also multiplies it, thanks to partial pruning.

    And another way to destroy the raspberry stem fly - digging the ground under the bushes .This will allow to get rid of the pest when it is in a defenseless state, stacking for the winter.

    Raspberry shoots gallitsa

    Another name of this insect is the raspberry mosquito .It is very difficult to detect on a plant, until the moment when it has already caused significant damage, because its size is only 1.5-2 mm.

    Raspberry shoots gall midge( raspberry mosquito)

    The insect female lay eggs under the bark of the plant, usually at the base of the leaf. After a week, larvae are born from eggs, which begin to feed on the inner layers of shoots. From this they begin to become covered with brown spots, which eventually turn black. And a little later, the crust spoils completely, bares the escape, and it cracks. This usually occurs during the ripening period of the fruit.

    To combat a harmful insect, the following methods are used:

    1. In the spring and in the autumn, it is necessary to carry out sanitary cleaning of the , which is to rid the plant of diseased, damaged, and sprouting shoots.
    2. To destroy an insect while it is still in the ground, it is possible to to dig up the ground under bushes to a depth of 15 cm .
    3. In order to delay the departure of the pest, the root zone can be mulched with a peat layer of 8-10 mm .
    4. Chemical treatments against the shovel midge are carried out from mid-April, before the insect has managed to leave the soil. At the same time shoots are sprayed, special attention should be paid to their lower part, as well as to the near-stem circle. Insecticides such as Calypso 480 KS, Karate, Iskra, Mospilan 20 SP, Arivo, Konfidor help well.
    Due to the high toxicity, it is not necessary to use such old means as Karbofos, BI-58, Fufanon. If you do decide to apply them, then the solution should be no more than 0.75%.

    When using chemicals to control insect pests, always compare damage from crop loss to harm that frequent use of toxic drugs can cause. Sometimes, with the mass distribution of the insect, it is easier to replace the planting material than to expose oneself to the risk of chemical poisoning.

    Some gardeners in the fight against gall midges prefer to use folk remedies:

    • The processing of blackberries with mustard powder, diluted in water.
    • Use for spraying infusion of tansy ( 350 g dry tansy per 10 liters of water).
    • Planting garlic and onions under bushes.

    Such methods, of course, will not be effective with a large number of insects, but if their population is small, it is better to experiment with them before using chemistry. Also, these methods will be good as preventive measures .

    Raspberry Nutskotryok

    Raspberry Nutskotryok

    It is a small hymenoptera, whose length does not exceed 3 mm. Hacking hawks during the flowering period of the blackberry lay eggs in the shoots of , and after a month galls( swellings up to 10 cm in length) are formed at the site of damage to the shoots, inside which are fly larvae. Because of the galls in the crust cracks are formed, which makes the shoots fragile and unable to fruiting. Over time, the shoots can dry out completely.

    Blistering Blackberry Sprouts with Raspberry Nutshook Maggots

    Ways to combat the Nutstowl:

    1. Before the beginning of the blackberry flowering period, bushes are sprayed with Aktellik or Ambush .
    2. All shoots with galls should be immediately cut off and burned.
    3. When you take care of a plant, you need to be careful not to violate the integrity of the bark of the on the branches. Cracks in the bark - a favorite place for laying eggs fly.

    Raspberry leaf sawfly

    One of the most dangerous blackberry pests. In the sawfly of the female, many eggs are laid in the leaf stalks of the plant. After the larvae come out of them, the green leaves dry out and die. The larvae reach a length of 14 mm, the color is dark above, light gray below, covered with hairs. They feed on bitter blackberry leaves from May to October. The foliage is usually eaten perforated, but sometimes only a skeleton remains from the leaf. In the first summer months, they mostly live in the lower tier of leaves, eventually getting higher and higher. Winter in the warm spider cocoons right on the ground, among the fallen leaves.

    Raspberry leaf sawfly

    If the number of this pest is high, the blackberry can lose more than half of its leaf apparatus, which reduces the yield of berries in the current year. In addition, without leaves, the plant is deprived of the opportunity for the formation of healthy axillary buds , necessary for future harvest. And damaged shoots in winter, most often, freeze.

    Sawdust control measures:

    1. Loosening the soil under the bushes.
    2. Mulching radical circle.
    3. Mechanical collection of larvae, in case the plantation is small.
    4. Spraying of plantings in the summer period with insecticides with a short waiting period.

    Despite the unpretentiousness of the blackberry, there is always a risk of losing the crop. Now that you know the main plant pests, be sure to take the time to take preventive measures to control them. It is not easy to exterminate flies on a blackberry , especially since the use of chemicals will not only destroy insects, but also reduce the quality of the fruits, and their safety in eating.

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