MSU releases spotted wing Drosophila management guide to help growers be ready for invasive insect

MSU has a network of traps monitoring for this new invasive pest in Michigan fruit and vegetable fields and a guide for what growers can do.

Spotted wing Drosophila was detected last fall for the first time in the Midwest. This invasive insect is a potential pest of soft-skinned fruit, and there is a coordinated effort to ensure Michigan growers are prepared for this new arrival during the 2011 growing season. Last year, the first flies were not detected until late September despite widespread monitoring, and well after harvest of most susceptible fruit crops.

This season, there is again a network of traps spread across the fruit and vegetable fields of Michigan, and so far this season, there have been no captures of this insect. To ensure that growers know how to trap, identify and control this pest, members of the spotted wing Drosophila Response Team have prepared a document titled SWD Management Recommendations for Michigan Blueberry Growers. This is focused on blueberry, but much of the information will be relevant to other crops. The insecticide registrations and restrictions will vary by crop, however. The document has been posted at MSU’s Spotted Wing Drosophila website at http://www.ipm.msu.edu/swd.htm

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

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