Fall-harvesting berry growers need to monitor and manage spotted wing Drosophila

Ripe fruit and cooler days provide conditions for pest buildup.

With fall red raspberry harvest getting underway, it is important that Michigan raspberry growers take the time and effort to monitor for a new invasive pest: the spotted wing Drosophila (SWD). This small, vinegar fly can lay its eggs into ripening and ripe berries, and it has been found in all the major fruit-producing regions of the state.

With the currently increasing density of ripe fruit in raspberry fields and the more moderate temperatures that are conducive to fly development, berry producers should take this threat seriously and monitor for SWD and initiate control activities if it is detected. If not controlled, this pest has the potential to cause fruit contamination.

The Michigan State University guidelines for management of SWD for blackberry and raspberry growers have been updated recently and are available online at the MSU IPM Control Recommendations for Spotted Wing Drosophila website.

Dr. Isaacs’ work is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch.

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