wood lice (roly poly) eating strawberries, what to do?

Discussion in 'Home Gardens, Market Gardens, and Commercial Crops' started by Sandi, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Sandi

    Sandi Well-Known Member

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    I had no idea that wood lice ate garden crops, but they are devastating my strawberries (I find them inside the berries in large numbers). There are a ton of them this year and it's possible they are responsible for some other damage in other parts of the garden too.

    I am doing my typical beer pans for slugs in the strawberry beds, but it doesn't seem to get enough of them. Any ideas or experience?
     
  2. geo in mi

    geo in mi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There have been a couple of mentions in different forums that wood lice DO eat berries, but the conventional wisdom is that they just eat decaying wood. Unless you want to dump or spray poison directly on your berries, I would suggest you do some raking to at least get rid of some of the places where they hide--damp and dark mulch--at least it might be worth a try. Get 'em running or cover--somewhere away from the sweet berries!

    geo
     

  3. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    People who have never witnessed them eating live plants never believe that they frequently feed on them. Yes, woodlice eat living plants and can be devastating to berry crops. The remedy is extremely labor intensive but works. First you have to scrape as much mulch away from the plants as you possibly can. Then you lay newspaper several sheets thick on the ground near your crop, don't cover a lot of ground. A couple spots will do nicely. Put some boards or large stones on the paper so it won't blow away. Water the paper and only the paper. Let set overnight, the woodlice will find your traps. Next morning fill a 5 gal bucket with a couple inches of water and a small squirt of dish soap. Go to your newspaper and gently remove the rocks and lift the paper over the buckets. Shake or scrape the woodlice off the paper and into your bucket. It will take a week or more to reduce the numbers to reasonable levels so you have to keep after them. The paper and the soil underneath must be damp and there should be no close mulch for this to work. You will be shocked at how many woodlice you will eliminate in the first couple days.
     
  4. red hott farmer

    red hott farmer A servant

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    Sluggo PLUS not the Sluggo but the Sluggo Plus IS ORMI and kills Rolli Polli's
     
  5. Pokletu

    Pokletu Well-Known Member

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  6. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've got those spiders. They don't even begin to make a dent in the roly-poly population.
     
  7. Pokletu

    Pokletu Well-Known Member

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    Well there's your answer. You need to see what's suppressing the spiders' population, then.
     
  8. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bigger spiders, wasps, birds and shrews. Spiders sometimes get eaten too. Spiders reproduce only once a year. Roly-polies can reproduce 3 times a year.
     
  9. Pokletu

    Pokletu Well-Known Member

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    ...So you're back to introducing more spiders, right? Or is the only answer you can accept some product from a chemical company?
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know what your problem is with me but if you would care to read my post #3 in this thread you will see that I offered a solution that targets only roly-polies and does not use any man-made chemicals in the garden. Chickens or ducks would be a much better solution than dropping the collected roly-polies in the soapy water but in some areas people cannot keep poultry.

    Apparently you like the idea of introducing non-native species to an area which may not already have them.

    It has also been documented that they do not eat roly-polies exclusively.
     
  11. Pokletu

    Pokletu Well-Known Member

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    Okay...

    Calm down...

    I think you're talking to me, but the chemical comment wasn't to you, first of all.

    It's already been stated that the spiders were there, so they ARE native(and yes;I like the idea. I'm not ALWAYS averse to using them); I seem to have missed the documentation you're referring to; I like your response, albeit that there's some labor to it; I have no problem with you(I don't even KNOW you);

    As we're both reading this forum, I'd bet we're BOTH here to learn; I've lodged some of your suggestions in the memory bank.

    I'd like to think that we can continue just enjoying more strategies together.