Bugs and blackberries

Asked May 17, 2016, 7:02 PM EDT

Hello I have blackberries. they had bugs that stung or sucked all the life out of blackberries. this gives them a rust color. I moved all my blackberries in a new area. I had hoped to have a better year but they are here again. they are about the size of a flea and crawl all in the blackberries. I have read and read and do not know what to do. I would pick one good berry and throw away handfuls. I also have Raspberries I hope they aren't ruined also.

Kaufman County Texas

3 Responses

Hello Caren,

I would be more than happy to help, but some more information would be invaluable If you could take some photos that show the symptoms you are describing, that would be great, and if you were to get those insects in the photo as well, even better!

Are the symptoms only apparent on the fruit? Anything peculiar on any damage on the leaves?

Best regards,

These are spider mites and are not going to show on a picture. the dart through the berries. I was looking for sprays to treat the mites. One berry grower warned me of cane borers but i haven't seen them. i know i must treat these canes over the winter. I read that I needed to use lime sulfur. I just couldn't find a source. I have had a hard time locating powdered zinc since the liquid tends to crystallize over the winter if it freezes. I also have thripes. I needed something stronger that would kill these insects also. I realize with the rain it will be constant spraying. I just need chemicals stronger than what you can get at Home Depot or Lowe's. I even went to the site Do My Own Pest and they didn't have any inf. for me besides Hi Yield. Caren

Hello Caren,

There are some formulations that include zinc that can result in flaring up spider mite populations, so I would be cautious about the use of mixtures or materials that are not labelled for mites on blackberries.

There are some products that can be picked up from a local hardware store that can help suppress or manage spider mite populations, such as a pyrethrin product (i.e. Natria Insect, Disease & Mite Control) or Spinosad (i.e. Captain Jack's deadbug brew concentrate). Both of those items have blackberries listed on their label and should assist in depressing spider mite populations.

Best regards,