What is in this article?:
- Will cicadas damage Southeast berry crops?
- Damage usually minimal
• Cicadas may potentially damage blueberries and other woody perennials such as grapes.
• Young plants are likely at greater risk than established plantings.
• Strawberries are not at risk of cicada injury because they only lay eggs in woody perennials.
Damage usually minimal
Damage to plants from adult cicada feeding is typically minimal, even for large, periodic emergences. Of greater concern is the damage that females cause through egg laying. Adult cicadas lay their eggs in woody tissue, under the bark. From the outside, these oviposition scars look like ragged cuts.
Second part of question is a bit trickier
Preventative treatments may be tempting, and soil treatments of insecticides have shown promise in reducing the number of egg laying attempts by female cicadas. However, preventative treatments must be made before insects are present. This means that they may not end up being beneficial if large numbers of cicadas do not appear. Some foliar insecticides may also repel adult cicadas.
For small plantings, netting is very effective at reducing or eliminating egg laying. In locations with young plantings a high likelihood of emergence, preventative treatment may be a good choice. For specific recommendations, contact your county cooperative Extension agent. Find your local Extension resources here at http://www.extension.org/.