FruitDisease - Entomology - raspberry beetle

Raspberry beetle

Raspberry Beetle (Byturus tomentosus) is one of the most important pests of raspberry found in north-central Europe. The related North American species, the Raspberry Fruitworm (B. urbanus) causes considerable damage to raspberry fruit in many parts of the USA and southern Canada. In most locations growers have to apply at least one, if not more, applications of pesticides to control this pest to the levels demanded by the processor, retailer and consumer. However, with the rapid reduction in the numbers of registered approved insecticides for use in raspberry and the increased demand for fruit without any detectable pesticide residues there is now a strong demand to find alternative pest management strategies.  

The RACER project  (Reduced Application of Chemicals in European Raspberry Production) was established in 1998 to bring together several European research providers with SME commercial berry producers/processors  and  to develop methods to reduce pesticide usage in raspberry. This was jointly funded by the EU CRAFT (FAIR - FA-S2-9038) and the  Bundesamt für Bildung und Wissenschaft (BBW).

Click on the RACER logo or here to visit the RACER website. For full list of publications produced from this project click here.

Racer Logo

Fruit damaged by raspberry beetle Fruit damage caused by raspberry beetle larvae.  Monitoring of raspberry beetle adults, before flowering, can be used to set an acceptable damage threshold for spray application.
Prototype trap

Opposite is a picture of the Rebell® bianco sticky white trap.

White sticky traps (Rebell® bianco or AgriSense Vertical White Sticky Traps) have been used to monitor raspberry beetle adults in the crop.


Efficiency of white sticky traps Rebell® bianco showing effect of adding attractants (right and centre traps) and control (left) on catches of adult raspberry beetle.     

Traps with attractants

Although the traps shown above were developed for monitoring raspberry beetles, they have been further enhanced by the addition of raspberry beetle attractants derived from raspberry flowers. The attractant was identified in chemical ecology studies (flower aroma chemistry, electrophysiology, insect behaviour) and these have now been shown to be very effective in the field.

The success of these enhanced traps has led to development of improved, non-sticky traps and more advanced, slow release dispensers that are currently under field evaluation as part of a joint HortLINK (HL0175) project with colleagues at:


Rebell trap


Gordon SC, Williamson B & Graham J (2006) Current and future control for major arthropod and fungal diseases of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) in Europe. Ed Ramdane Dris, In Crops – growth, quality and biotechnology. WFL Publisher, Helsinki, Finland ISBN-952-91-8601-0
Woodford JAT, Gordon SC, Höhn H, Schmid K, Tuovinen T & Lindqvist I (2000) Monitoring raspberry beetle (Byturus tomentosus) with white sticky traps: the experience from three geographically distinct European areas. Proceedings of BCPC Conference-Pests & Diseases 2000. 321-326.  
Woodford JAT Williamson B & Gordon SC (2002) Raspberry beetle damage decreases shelf-life of raspberries also infected with Botrytis cinerea. Acta Horticulturae 587, 423-427.  
Woodford JAT, Birch ANE, Gordon SC, Griffiths DW, McNicol JW, & Robertson G W (2003) Controlling raspberry beetle without insecticides. IOBC/wprs Bulletin 26, 87-92.
MacConnell CB, Murray TA, Burrows C, Gordon SC, Birch ANE & Tanigoshi L (2004) Adopting Integrated Pest Management for the Raspberry Beetle, Byturus unicolor Say (Coleoptera: Byturidae), for Washington State Red Raspberries. IOBC Bulletin 27 (4) 107-111.  
Birch ANE Gordon SC,  Fenton B,  Malloch G,  Mitchell C,  Jones AT,  Griffiths DW,  Brennan R,  Graham J & Woodford JAT (2004) Developing a Sustainable IPM System for High Value Rubus Crops (Raspberry, Blackberry) for Europe. Acta Horticulturae 649: 289-292.     
Mitchell C,  Gordon SC,  Birch ANE & Hubbard SF (2004) Developing a "lure and kill" system for raspberry beetle, Byturus tomentosus, in Rubus production. IOBC Bulletin 27 (4), 113-118
Gordon SC & Birch ANE (2006) Integrated Pest Management of pest of raspberry (Rubus idaeus) – possible developments in Europe by 2015. IOBC wprs Bulletin Vol 29 (9) pp 138   Gordon SC (2005) Raspberry and Currant Entomology – The Drivers for Change in Europe. Abstract 9th International Rubus and Ribes Symposium, Pucon, Chile, 4 to 7 December 2005 Acta Horticulturae (in press).