Pest management for Spotted Wing Drosophila

The Organic Farming Research Foundation 2022 National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) is a report informed by surveys and focus groups conducted in 2020 with over 1,100 certified organic farmers and ranchers across North America.

What farmers said
In the NORA report, 74% of survey respondents cited insect/pest management as a substantial technical assistance need.
Specific feedback from organic farmers also underscores the need for additional research on managing pests such as spotted wing drosophila.

Download OFRF’s Pest Profile on Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD).

Watch the eOrganic Webinar on SWD featured in OFRF’s Organic Agriculture Research Forum 2022.

Know your pest
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is an insect pest of small stone fruit and berry crops. SWD is native to Asia and was first detected in the mainland United States in California in 2008.

Adult flies are smaller than 4mm, light brown in color with red eyes.

Male SWD have a dark spot on the leading edge of the wing, unbroken bands across the top of the abdomen, and two dark combs on each front leg pointing toward the tip of the leg. The wing spots are an easy-to-detect characteristic, though these markings are not always present on newly emerged males.

While harder to identify, females have a pronounced serrated ovipositor. This allows female SWD to use the saw-like organ to cut the skin of intact ripe or ripening fruit and deposit eggs inside the fruit.

Managing SWD
Key strategies to manage SWD include:

  • Setting up traps.
  • Sample fruit for larvae.
  • Create a barrier such as exclusion netting or row cover tunnels.
  • Time your planting to give your crop the upper hand.
  • Decrease the intervals between harvests.
  • Remove cull fruit.
  • Mulch, prune the understory, and harvest.
  • Encourage the populations of beneficial insects.

For more information:
Organic Farming Research Foundation
https://ofrf.org/  


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