If you grow raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, or other soft-skinned fruit, beware that spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) has been detected. They were first discovered in apple cider vinegar traps in several locations in the Twin Cities on June 13. This is about two weeks earlier than they have been detected the last several years in Minnesota.
|Male spotted wing Drosophila. Note the dark spot near the|
tip of the wing. Photo: Bob Koch, UMN Extension
This small fly has become a very damaging pest in both commercial fields and home gardens. The larvae tunnel into ripening fruit causing brown, sunken, soft areas in the fruit, rendering them inedible. If you have susceptible fruit in your garden, monitor for SWD to determine if this insect is present in your garden. The adults look just like a typical fruit fly that you might find in your home except males have a dark spot on the tip of the wings.
If you find SWD in your garden, it is necessary to protect your crops with an insecticide application. There are several products to choose from; be sure that the specific product you wish to use is labeled for the fruit you want to treat. Repeat applications will be necessary as SWD is active throughout the summer.
For more information on spotted wing Drosophila, including management, see Spotted wing Drosophila in home gardens.