Since a few years an extra service can be provided by the crop advisory team on monitoring beneficials and pests in strawberry cultivations. This service can be used as additional tool for the advice and support of the crop advisors.


During a weekly monitoring, the presence of the most important pests (i.e. aphids, spider mites, whitefly and thrips) and beneficials (i.e. predatory mites, predatory bugs and mummies of parasitized aphids) are monitored. At randomly chosen spots 10 leaf discs and five flowers are checked, with a minimum of 25 spots per hectare. 



Many growers have had serious problems with thrips or other pests in recent years. The emergence of beneficials and pests is often very unpredictable and can also vary greatly per crop. An early detection of pests and therefore an early intervention results in the most effective control of pests in strawberry cultivation. 

Example scouting results
  • One week before flowering, predatory mites are released against thrips, which quickly build up a population.
  • On June 3, predatory mites were found in all 25 spots: 8% with 1-2 predatory mites per leaf, 26% with 3-5 predatory mites per leaf and 64% with more than 5 predatory mites per leaf.
  • Due to the strong predatory mite population, we do not have to fear the emergence of thrips on June 10.
  • The predatory mites ensure that thrips are suppressed and at the last count we see no increase in the number of thrips.
Importance & Strengths
  • Increasing the success of the IPM strategy. 
  • Weekly scouting of the crop that allows quicker actions based on accurate counts, and not a quick observation. 
  • Efficient use of beneficials, followed by accurate monitoring of population establishment. 
  • For each pest it is then possible to see if there is a balance between pest and beneficial, and if not, the necessary adjustments can be made. Pests can be tolerated in equilibrium. 
  • The scouting strategy has already been successfully demonstrated in practice with various growers.



For more information contact:

Jolien Smessaert

+32 (0)472 54 84 45

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