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How to Control Bugs & Worms in Raspberries

By Cora Wilder ; Updated September 21, 2017
Raspberry pests cause damage to canes and fruit.

Raspberries are typically simple plants to care for. However, there are several pests that attack this crop, which can make the job of caring for raspberries more difficult. It is disheartening to go out to your garden and see canes bearing nearly ripe fruit cut and fallen on the ground -- the signature work of the raspberry cane borer. Fortunately, natural solutions for bug and worm control work well in garden situations, and pesticides are usually unnecessary.

Ensure any raspberry stock you purchase is disease- and pest-free. Get the stock from a nursery or plant supplier. Old stock often carries bugs and worms with it, because many pests lay their eggs in the raspberry stalk itself.

Remove wild berry brambles from the area. Wild berries frequently carry disease and pests than can pass to garden raspberries. Clearing the area of wild brambles reduces the likelihood of infection of your crop.

Plant raspberries in well-drained soil or on hills so that water drains and does not stagnate. Additionally, keep raspberry plants in hedgerows no wider than 12 to 24 inches to allow the patch adequate sunlight and air movement to easily dry out after a rain or watering.

Trim back old growth in the fall with pruning shears. After the harvest season is over, cutting down old stalks to just an inch or two above the ground removes dead plant material that harbors harmful bugs. Burn the trimmings or remove them from the area.

Pick fruit when it becomes ripe and before it falls to the ground. Overripe fruit left on stalks or the ground attracts picnic beetles which feed on decaying fruit and can damage new fruit ready for harvest.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Work gloves
  • Pruning shears

Tip

  • If you find stalks that have fallen over and appear to be cut at the base, it is probably due to cane borers. Find these pests that look like fat little beetles at work in the early morning, and hand pick and squish them.

About the Author

 

Cora Wilder began her writing career in 2011, specializing in renewable energy, green home repair and home energy conservation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology from Colorado State University and a Master of Architecture from Arizona State University.