Flies that damage fruit crops return - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Flies that damage fruit crops return

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Madison, WISCONSIN (WXOW) - People who grow small fruits, particularly blueberries, raspberries, and similar soft skinned fruits should begin monitoring their fruit crops for the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) flies.

This is the fruit fly that showed up in large numbers in mid August 2012 in Wisconsin and did significant damage to the fall raspberry crop.  It damages the fruit that is just ripening by slicing a small hole in the skin of the fruit and laying an egg in the slit.  As the larvae develop the fruit is ruined.

Spotted Wing Drosophila fruit fly is not known to damage cranberries, due to the cranberry fruit's skin being thick and tough enough to prevent them from cutting through to lay eggs. 

UW Extension and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture are working with cooperating berry growers around the state to monitor for this pest. The first captured SWD flies in Wisconsin in 2013 were caught in Vernon County on July 9th.  SWD flies were also captured in Crawford County on July 16th.

At this time UW Extension is recommending that people who grow these fruits set up traps in their berry crop to monitor for the fruit fly to determine if and when they need to implement protective measures.

Traps can be made using the clear 2 lb deli containers or 32 oz +translucent or clear plastic convenience store fountain drink cups.  Take the container and drill a series of 3/16" holes about an inch apart around the container or cup an inch down from the top, leaving a 2 to 2.5 inch wide area without holes to help pour out the vinegar.  Put about an inch of apple cider vinegar in the container, and add a drop of dish soap to the vinegar.  Place the lid on the container.  A hanger of wire can be placed through the lid and use glue of some sort to seal the hole where the wire was poked through. 

Place the trap in the shady canopy of the fruit crop and monitor the trap to see in any spotted wing drosophila flies are caught.

Pictures and management information can be found at the UW Extension Spotted Wing Drosophila website at: http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/swd/

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