If you’ve got a strawberry patch on the go, they may well be starting to ripen up now… make sure the pests don’t get to them first!
The three main pests to look out for:
Birds – You’re likely to see strawberries half eaten but still on the plant if birds are the main offenders, as they peck at the ripest part of the strawberries if they can’t remove the whole berry. Mesh netting or a mini-polytunnel style cloche will do a good job of keeping them off your crops without presenting much risk of the birds getting caught up or tangled.
Squirrels – if squirrels are eating the strawberries, you are likely to see a few hoards of semi-ripe berries in the plot, and evidence of nibbled strawberries dotted around. In our experience, the clever squirrels are very good at getting underneath netting, and will easily nibble a hole through it to access the strawberries! Grrr. Your best bet is to use some kind of wire mesh protection.
Slugs – you’ll see slime trails if slugs are responsible for eating your strawberries. Lay down some beer traps, and do a check of your strawberry patch – they may be hiding under pots, in between soil and raised bed edging, underneath watering cans, in weeds etc. Reduce those hiding places as much as you can, and be sure to top up the beer traps every few days!