highbush blueberry berry problem identification needed

Asked December 28, 2015, 4:12 PM EST

Can you help identify this problem where the berries are impacted as seen in the attached images.
i was unable to find any larvae inside affected berries, but that's not to say that they weren't there.
noticed last week of July (altho from the berry stub evidence, this had been transpiring for weeks). Happened on half of our 10 bushes, about 2-3 clusters per bush,
all bad berries were clustered/adjacent.
Three images may or may not be related, if unrelated, curious what remedy is recommended (hopefully organic). 0010 is probably a separate issue since its stem was not affected.

between these berry-centric issues and (adjacent question) possible shoestring issues, this year's yield was maybe 1/2 of what we normally get. (it could have been the weather too)

Thank you!

Worcester County Massachusetts

1 Response

You may have more than one problem here. Some of the mummied fruit could be from Botrytis or Mummy Berry. Both fungal diseases are worse in rainy years such as 2015.

I suspect the obvious insect damage is from Cherry fruitworm or Cranberry fruitworm. Both will attack berries in groups and the larvae often feed on adjacent berries. Frass can sometimes be found between damaged berries and the berries may be webbed together with silk. Once the larvae are fully grown they drop to the ground. That's why you don't find them in berries.

Control can be accomplished by removing the infested berries as soon as they are noticed. Since they ripen earlier than non-infested berries, they are easy to spot. They can also be controlled with insecticides applied at the appropriate time. Timing can be determined with pheromone traps. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for recommended insecticides (organic or conventional). Also check out eXtension's Blueberry site: http://articles.extension.org/pages/29378/blueberry-production