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Harmful fruit fly may be here to stay

Spotted wing drosophila has been detected in several counties for the second consecutive year.

Spotted wing drosophila on raspberryThe North Dakota Department of Agriculture reports spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been detected in 4 new counties this year:  LaMoure, Stutsman, Ward and Wells. The pest has been found in 11 of the 12 counties it was found in 2013: Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Grand Forks, Logan, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Pembina and Stark (Foster is the exception).

This Asian fruit fly, introduced in our state last year, lays eggs in soft-skinned fruits such as raspberry, cherry, chokecherry, and strawberry. The eggs hatch into tiny white larvae that spoil the fruit. It is significant because it invades ripening fruit (other fruit flies invade only ripe or overripe fruit), which will lead to more frequent use of insecticides.

The pest can be monitored using a simple trap such as apple vinegar in a perforated cup. For more information, download NDSU publication Integrated Pest Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila in North Dakota.


Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report, August 25, 2014. The photo was made available under a Creative Commons license specified by the photographer: Hannah Burrack, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org/.

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