Spotted Wing Drosophila Update

Clouds of spotted wing drosophila are still around our raspberries, and it’s apparent this pest is going to be a challenge every year for the foreseeable future.
Spotted Wing Drosophila Update - News


Photo: K. Demchak, Penn State

I always intend to write an article over the winter that summarizes good sources of info on SWD management, but it always seems that there are different issues to write about then. Now, as I’m hoping for some cold temperatures to slow down SWD population growth, I figured I’d put together a few thoughts and sources of info to mull over. Maybe as the evenings get longer and harvest winds down, you’ll have a chance to check these out.

First, related to the psychology and mindset behind dealing with SWD, which is the first step in confronting SWD management, an article by Mark Longstroth at MSU, which was written this past June, just lays it all on the line: Plan to change when dealing with spotted wing Drosophila.

If you need help with identification, I still like the photos in the Penn State article, Spotted Wing Drosophila, Part 1: Overview and Identification . It looks like the new online version posted has some photos added that belong to others, in addition to the ones we originally included, so my thanks to the folks who provided those.

Raspberry with injured druplet and spotted wing drosophila. Photo: K. Demchak, Penn State

There’s a nearly hour-long video “Making the Most of Your Insecticide Toolbox to Manage SWD” which brings together personnel from number of institutions under the USDA-NIFA-SCRI project “Sustainable Spotted Wing Drosophila Management”. It covers topics such as efficacy of products, use of spreader-stickers, rainfastness, and other topics to help with management when using insecticides. This video will be useful as you inventory what insecticides you have left over from this year, and consider what you might want to order for next year.

For those who wish to avoid insecticide applications completely, Dale Ila Riggs describes how she had managed to exclude spotted wing drosophila completely from her blueberries in a short video. Perhaps netting is in your future.

Though it may be too late to get ahead of SWD this year, we may as well start getting prepared for next year. When thinking about ordering plants and supplies over the fall and winter, it also makes sense to think about avoidance of SWD by growing early-season varieties that are largely harvested by mid-July—before SWD numbers soar, and budgeting to get the supplies in place that will give the most control for the dollar otherwise.