A small planting of blueberries can provide an ample supply of quality fruit for home use; however, it will probably have insect pest problems. But, according to Erwin Elsner and Mark Whalon of the Michigan State University Department of Entomology, most blueberry pest problems have solutions and many non-chemical pest management techniques can be used effectively by home gardeners.
Insects that attack blueberries may be classified into three groups: those that feed on the foliage, buds and flowers (foliage feeders), those that suck plant juices (sap feeders) and those that feed on the fruit (fruit feeders). The first two groups are often called indirect pests because they don’t attack the fruit. Pests that feed on the fruit are called direct pests.
For more information, read Common Blueberry Insect Pests and Their Control by Elsner and Whalon.
According to Whalon, “…a lot of the monitoring, control and other information would likely be applicable (to the southern United States), but the timing, degree days and other mitigating factors would be different.” Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service office for information specific to your area.
Elsner, Erwin A. and Mark E. Whalon. Common Blueberry Insect Pests and Their Control. Michigan State University Department of Entomology. 03 July 2001. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
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