Spotted Wing Drosophila
The Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a vinegar fly of East Asian origin that can cause damage to many fruit crops. This small insect has been in Hawaii since the 1980s, was detected in California in 2008, spread through the West Coast in 2009, and was detected in Florida, Utah, the Carolinas, Wisconsin and Michigan for the first time in 2010. Because the flies are only a few millimeters long and cannot fly very far, natural dispersion between states is unlikely. Human-assisted transportation is a more likely cause of the recent rapid spread. It appears that this insect has become widely established through North America.
What crops are affected?
SWD has been detected in traps located near berry crops, grapes, cherries and other tree fruits. The flies have a preference for softer-fleshed fruit.
Status in Michigan
In fall 2010, SWD was detected in Michigan for the first time as part of a widespread Early Detection and Rapid Response program. SWD flies have now been detected in all of the counties where it has been monitored in the southern peninsula of Michigan, and we expect it to be present statewide. The activity period typically spans from early to mid-June through late fall.
What is being done?
A SWD Response Team has been formed that combines the expertise of MSU entomologists, horticulturalists, Extension educators, and Michigan Department of Agriculture staff. This website will be the central location for dissemination of information about this insect. Check back for updates. This team is also helping to coordinate research projects to understand how best to protect fruit from infestation by this new pest.
We are confident the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for SWD control can be implemented to enable continued harvest of high-quality crops. See our fact sheets for English and Spanish information on monitoring for this pest, and recommendations for managing SWD.
- MSU Fact sheet, available in English and Spanish.
- MSU's guide to identifying spotted wing Drosophila and separating them from other species caught in traps.
- Management guides for fruit crops.
- SWD Information from Oregon State University
- Past articles from MSU Extension's Fruit & Nut News
Funding for the SWD Response Team
The activities of the SWD Response Team are funded by Project GREEEN, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, US-EPA, USDA and Michigan grower organizations. A regional research and extension grant through the North Central IPM Center has also supported this website through a grant with the University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota.