How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Strawberry virus diseases

Virus infections build up in strawberry plantings over time. Newly forming leaves on infected plants are distorted and have various patterns of yellow discoloration. Symptoms become become more severe over time.


Life cycle

A number of virus diseases may affect strawberry plants. Most are spread by insects, including the strawberry aphid, and all can be spread during vegetative propagation of planting material. These pathogens are microscopic organisms that multiply inside living host cells and spread throughout infected strawberry plants and their daughter plants.

Often the only effect of infection by a single virus is reduced plant vigor and fruit yield. A strawberry plant usually must be infected by more than one type of virus before visible symptoms develop, and yield reductions are more severe when more than one kind of virus is present. It usually takes more than 2 years in the field for the incidence of viruses to reach a level where multiple infections become significant.


Replace plantings regularly with new plants to keep virus diseases from becoming a problem in the home garden. Although viruses are spread by aphids, insecticide applications to control aphids are not effective in curtailing virus spread.

Symptoms of strawberry mottle virus
Symptoms of strawberry mottle virus

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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