Blueberry maggot flies were captured at our southeastern monitoring sites on July 14th. One male each were trapped at Site 2 and Site 12 (you cannot see Site 2 in the figure below). Both locations still have a considerable amount of fruit left to harvest. Southern highbush fruit have long been harvested, but rabbiteye berries remain on the bushes.
Blueberry maggot captures in southeastern monitoring locations.
Prior to this, only 1 blueberry maggot fly was captured at Site 5 (in Bladen County). All 3 locations where flies have been captured are treating aerially with malathion (the grower standard for BBM management in the Calendar spray program), while no flies have been captured at either of our 2 untreated locations (Sites 3 and 14). At our monitoring location outside of the commercial blueberry production region in Rockingham County, we caught 33 flies on July 14th. Our Rockingham County location is also not treated.
Because our last southeastern trap capture was a month ago, this begs the questions as to whether the flies we are observing now are part of the same emerging cohort of adults or if they are newly emerged, and therefore, targeting rabbiteye fruit. Either of these are possible, as many tephritid fruit flies can be fairly long lived (a one month life span would not be unheard of). Unfortunately, we cannot say how the old the flies we captured were because they were male. The ovaries of female flies can be dissected to roughly determine if flies are very young or relatively old, but there are not reliable tools or aging male flies. We'll be keeping an eye out for female flies to shed some light on this trapping pattern.