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PAL Questions: 1 - Garden Tools:
Could you tell me more about a new type of fruit fly that is supposedly infesting fruit here in the Pacific Northwest? Which fruit are affected?
The fruit fly is called the Spotted Wing Drosophila. It is known to affect strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, plum, peach, cherry, and grape. Oregon State University has created an information clearinghouse about this pest. Here is their information for home fruit growers. Washington State University has also devoted several web pages to this fly. Here is their Integrated Pest Management information, excerpted below (SWD stands for Spotted Wing Drosophila):
"Monitor for SWD using traps. [...] These vinegar traps are for monitoring purposes only and will not provide control of SWD. Remember, chemical control is not necessary if SWD is not present.
Composting fruit will likely not be effective at destroying maggots and pupae.
Remove infested and fallen fruit. Destroy or dispose of infested fruit in a sealed container.
Management recommendations are currently being developed for this pest. For the time being, good sanitation practices should be used."
Whatcom County Extension has clear, basic information for home gardeners as well. Since this insect is a relatively recent invader in the Northwest, information is constantly being adjusted and research is ongoing.
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April 19 2012 16:02:30