Recent spotted wing Drosophila catches indicate ripening berries should be protected

Catches in commercial ripe and ripening blueberry and raspberry fields and adjacent habitats indicate increasing activity of spotted wing Drosophila.

During the past few weeks, Michigan State University Extension’s monitoring network has detected increasing spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) activity in traps placed inside blueberry fields, at field borders and in wooded edges. See this week’s SWD report for more details. SWD has also been detected in a raspberry planting. These detections have been made in Berrien, Van Buren, Allegan and Ottawa counties in southwest and west central Michigan.

With these detections at the start of blueberry harvest and during summer raspberry harvest, it will be important for growers to maintain monitoring to determine the relative SWD pest pressure across farms. Decisions to spray should be based on the presence of SWD flies and ripening or ripe fruit that are susceptible.

For more on our recommendations for SWD management in blueberries, see “SWD Management Recommendations for Michigan Blueberry.” Fruit monitoring can also be used to check that fruit are free of infestation before harvest. For more on how to manage this pest in berry crops, check our SWD website’s crop recommendations.

Dr. Issacs' work is funded in part by MSU's AgBio Research.

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