The matrix of strawberry and alternate host crops, wooded areas, and uncultivated sections that comprises a farm landscape provides not only food resources but also habitat in both a spatial and temporal context. Reports of the strawberry sap beetle as a pest in strawberry in the northeastern United States have increased along with a trend to produce a wider diversity of fruit crops on individual farms. The three objectives of this study focused on determining which, if any, habitats outside strawberry plantings are important to consider when developing control strategies for strawberry sap beetles. First, sampling of wooded areas and multiple crops showed that strawberry sap beetles overwinter not only in wooded areas but also in blueberry and raspberry. No overwintering beetles were found in strawberry. Second, up to a 70-fold increase in mean number of strawberry sap beetles in a no-choice food source experiment indicated that considerable reproduction can occur on blueberry, cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. Third, sampling summer-bearing raspberry, peach, blueberry, and cherry in 2004 and 2005 confirmed that beetles were present, often in high densities (0.1–108.5 strawberry sap beetles/m2), in commercial fields with fruit or vegetable material on the ground. In summary, the beetles are able to feed, complete development, and overwinter in habitats other than strawberry. An effective integrated pest management program to control strawberry sap beetles will need to consider the type of habitat surrounding strawberry fields.
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