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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Management tools for spotted wing drosophila in NC

Because we detected spotted wing drosophila (SWD) in the Carolinas in 2010 before any commercial fruit was compromised, we have this winter to prepare growers and homeowners to detect and manage this new pest.

The first step to managing SWD is to determine whether it is present on your farm or garden. We have detected SWD in 13 counties in NC and SC, but we have been monitoring 24 locations and do not have traps in all possible fruit growing areas. This means that: 1. Some locations do not yet have SWD, and 2. Some locations may have SWD and we may not have detected it yet.

2010 NC and SC SWD Monitoring locations (blue dots) and counties with confirmed SWD trap captures. Figure: HJB

Growers and gardeners should work with their county extension agents (or myself) to trap for and identify SWD. See here to find your county extension agent in NC. Expert identification confirmation is recommended for the first detection at location to ensure that SWD is not confused with native Drosophila species. See the NC Small Fruits, Special Crop, and Tobacco IPM SWD Page for links to SWD identification guides.

Once SWD presence has been confirmed and at risk (ripe) fruit is present, chemical treatment is the current recommended means of commerical management. Cultural control, namely sanitation, can greatly reduce damage but will not eliminate it. Fruit should be frequently and regularly harvested and culls (non marketable or non edible fruit) should be disposed of off site. Burying culls will not necessarily kill SWD. Culls should not be left on the ground because they can be reinfested.

I have adapted factsheets which list the registered, commerical insecticides and their possible impact on SWD developed by Oregon State University entomologists for North Carolina. Links to these factsheets are provided below. The insecticides listed are registered for commerical fruit production, not for use by homeowners. Cultural controls may be sufficient to reduce SWD damage in gardens. If not, contact your cooperative extension agent for pesticide recommendations. The information provided in these factsheets does not replace the insecticide label. The label must be followed at all times; it's the law!

More information
Insecticides registered for use in blueberries & their potential use against SWD
Insecticides registered for use in caneberries & their potential use against SWD
Insecticides registered for use in grapes & their potential use against SWD
Insecticides registered for use in strawberries & their potential use against SWD

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