First capture of spotted wing Drosophila

Deploy and check traps now to enable early detection of this pest.

The first capture of spotted wing Drosophila for 2011 in Michigan has been confirmed. This is a new invasive insect pest of several tree and small fruit crops grown in this region, and it was first trapped in this state in late 2010. It was confirmed this week that we have caught this pest in a trap that was collected on July 7 in Allegan County, south of Grand Rapids, Mich. On Wednesday afternoon (July 13), the USDA-APHIS taxonomist confirmed that this specimen is a male spotted wing Drosophila fly. This was suspected at the time of trap checking, but we wanted to be sure for this first catch of the year. The specific trap in which the fly was trapped is located 50 feet into the woods adjacent to a crop field that had high catches in fall 2010. Subsequent checking of the same trap, and of traps in the vicinity, have not found any more spotted wing Drosophila this week.

It is important to highlight that we have not detected SWD in any traps placed in fruit crops, or in any fruit this season. Monitoring is underway in multiple crops and multiple counties will continue and we will continue to update growers through MSU Extension News for Agriculture and through our MSU IPM spotted wing Drosophila website as this situation develops.

This first detection of spotted wing Drosophila for 2011 is a wake-up call to make sure traps are well positioned in the shade in the fruit zone, checked regularly and maintained with fresh apple cider vinegar. Directions on trap design, placement, checking, and also information on management of this insect in blueberries and other fruit crops are all available at www.ipm.msu.edu/SWD.htm

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