Spotted Wing Drosophila

Denise Attaway  |  4/28/2011 11:27:12 PM

Spotted wing drosophila affects ripening fruit in the early stages of development. Photo courtesy of Martin Houser.

Go to Blueberry Insect Pest Guide




Go to Blueberry Insect Pests Home Page




Click on the links above to go to the Blueberry Insect Pest Guide home page or the Blueberry Insect Pests home page.


The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a vinegar fly of East Asian origin that can cause damage to many fruit crops. Because these 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.

Facts:

  • Affects ripening fruit in the early stages of development.
  • Thrives at cooler temperatures.
  • May move from one crop to another as season progresses.
  • Populations can damage several different varieties of ripening fruit during a single growing season.
Damage:

  • Damage first appears as near-microscopic scars on the fruit surface left by “stinging” females laying eggs.
  • SWD larvae hatch and begin feeding on the inside of fruit.
  • Fruit begins to collapse around the feeding site with soft depressions appearing on some fruits.
  • Mold and infestation by secondary pests may contribute to further damage.
Scouting:

  • SWD can be easily trapped in “McPhail”-type traps.
  • Other traps used to detect and control Tephritidae fruit flies also may be used to trap SWD.
  • Growers are encouraged to conduct their own detection activities and report their findings to their local Cooperative Extension Service office.
Control:

  • If SWD are detected, treat the crop with a registered insecticide. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service office for insecticides registered for use in your area.
  • Rotate chemistries with different resistance management groups.
  • Evaluate your management program by monitoring for presence of flies with traps.
  • Sample fruit for larval infestation using fruit-dunk flotation method (See What Backyard Fruit Growers Need to Know About SWD).
  • Destroy leftover fruit on the plant or fruit that falls on the ground when practical to reduce the fly’s breeding site and food supply.
  • Consider post-harvest clean-up spray to reduce populations if SWD is captured post-harvest.
  • Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service office for insectides registered for use in your area.
Sources:

Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

Top