The Strawberry Rhynchites - which also attacks raspberries - and to a lesser degree - blackberries, is a weevil. The adults of which feed on the folded leaves of the strawberry plant in early Spring.
The female wanders off to the flowers where she firstly lays her eggs, then rather craftily punctures the flower stem just below the bud, ensuring that it withers and dies.
It is a serious pest of strawberry crops in UK, and can often be mistaken for
blossom weevil. The Strawberry Rhynchites beetle is metallic green whereas the blossom weevil is dull grey/black.
The adult beetles of the Rhynchites emerges from the soil after oer-wintering, and feeds on the young foliage of the strawberry plant.
Once the larvae inside the withered flower bud emerges, it drops to the soil and starts an immediate pupation. It it is then quite happy to live - fully fed - in the soil until it starts the cycle over again.
An insecticide containing Fenitrothian has some effect, and can be used immediately prior to blossoms forming, or after blossoms have faded. Bifenthrin is effective with the maggots - larvae.
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