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Another SWD rant

Posted by windfall_rob vt4 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 13:26

Well, We knew they were coming but the speed of their arrival and completeness of their infestation is pretty grim.

Went away for a bit over a week and came back to complete infestation of the last 1/2-1/3 of the blueberry crop...must be close to 10 gallons of maggot infested fruit hanging on the bushes. Just glad we were able to pull some of the crop before they arrived.

Talking to local commercial growers it looks like there are basically 3 strategies...plant early maturing varieties/crops, a ridiculously aggressive spray schedule, or completely screen in the plantings....

Screen is seeming like the best option at the moment. I suppose I could yank some of the blues and replace with earlier varieties, but most of the planting is nicely matured and predictions are they will show up earlier each year for the net few years as they establish themselves more firmly in the north east....pretty depressing

We are over planted in black currants which ripened 3-4 weeks ago. I suspect all the dropped berries accelerate dour problem, so perhaps removing some of those plantings back to just what we can keep picked clean and use will buy us a few extra weeks in the ripening cycle...

Now I feel like I am waiting for the other foot to fall on what was going to be our first decent harvest of grapes...


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RE: Another SWD rant

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 14:43

I am glad I am not selling fruit, so its just more of an annoyance for me at this point, have to check fruit every day so less spoiled fruit. As long as the fruit isn't rotted yet, then a maggot, worm, or whatever won't bother me. Sometimes I am at the point where out of spite, I eat them, as if it gives me a sense of retribution.
I noticed a dragonfly has been darting around my peach trees, wish he would invite his friends to this new food source buffet. Saw a spider crawling on a peach with a spotted winged male in his mouth. I think in time, what I am seeing will be a little more balanced with the right predators.


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  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 21:44

How easy is it to see the maggots. Are they really obvious? I've been checking fruit very closely but haven't seen any maggots yet (but I don't really know what I'm looking for). I even did the salt water test the other day, but don't know how easy it is to see the maggots in the water. Do you need a magnifying glass?

This pest is already changing my behavior (based on accounts from others) We've started picking up drops under trees. I'm seriously considering removing all blackberries (Supposedly berry fruit are a better host for the pest than peaches.)

From accounts I'm hearing SWD makes OFM, CM, and PC look like minor pests.


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Switching to earlier varieties may be of some help, but I would guess the SWD would easily adjust to that in a few years.

The larva are easily spotted, the size of a smallish grain of rice. Of course they show up better on blackberries than peaches, use a dark tray / container for the salt water test for more contrast.


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Mine are smaller than that. Not much bigger than a mustard seed (the kind from the spice rack, not the garden).


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Wow, I haven't paid much attention to this possible game changer. This could have a huge impact on my business as I don't see my customers as likely to be tolerant of larvae in their fruit.

Cornell has been talking about monitoring and control strategies this season but I've only read about spottings and not major outbreaks in NY. Has anybody in the NE had problems with stone fruit yet? I can live without berries.


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I know they love cherries! I can't live without berries. I could live without peaches. I have yet to eat one this year.
I know your income depends on peaches and other stone fruits. The only thing I heard is they usually only attack damaged peaches, Hope that is true? I do have peach trees, three of them! It is also true I have not eaten any this year. My trees are too young. Yesterday though I bought some good ones, at least I hope so! I have yet to try any.I Better start purchasing nut trees,,,I will be adding a filbert next spring. Red Dragon Contorted Filbert.


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IN the blueberries the larva are pretty easy to spot...depending on how far along their development is of course. But that development is FAST.
I don't mind eating some larva if the fruit is sound. And I was able to salvage a gallon or so of berries with minor/early damage..froze them immediately and they should be fine for cooking and smoothies. But 90% of the fruit was past use. and this is less than a week after friends came through and saw no sign of damage.

I just smeared them out between my fingers...most that I saw were much smaller than a grain of rice. What gives them away is the wiggle. Look for movement. But I quickly found that any berry that was the least bit soft was infested...and they pretty much all were.

The egg laying punctures were also quite evident in the berries. As you go to pick juice bubbles up through them.

My understanding is that picking up drops slows down their population growth. Drops would be fairly easy with tree fruit, but berries gets awfully labor intensive. I am researching more now, but Don't think I have the time to go through and pull the bad fruit and rotten piles under the currant bushes. Hopefully this surrender for the season won't burn me for net year.

Everyone is still figuring out how they will behave in the northeast. Dominant thought right now seems to be that a very small population finds sheltered locations to overwinter, but that most of them die off and a new wave moves up from further south as the next season progresses....much like late blight. There is however strong concern that they do have the ability to overwinter and selection pressure may rapidly adapt them to become an early summer pest as well.

We are waiting to see what crops they will attack, skin thickness/toughness seems to be the big determining factor. Berries are a definite hit. Grapes are expected to be in trouble as well. Cherries ripen early enough to avoid them (so far). Apples are thought to be safe.
I don't know about peaches, my plums are just starting to ripen, and so far they seem OK.

I am pretty wound up about the whole thing. Berry crops were always easy for us, that left me time to get fussy with the tree fruit. I just can't see finding the time to manage it all if these guys prove as bad as they appear to...especially if I hope to continue with organic practices..we really need a powerful species specific biological control, but that seems unlikely.


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This may give some insight

Here is a link that might be useful: omfra


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RE: Another SWD rant

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 9:21

There are no spotted wing drosophilia in our raspberry patch, here in Madison, yet...I have no idea why, it sound like we are surrounded by infestation.


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I posted about a tiny thread-like worm in my Caroline raspberries in 2011.

I'd went to the County Extension Agent as well as the local garden center with no luck in identifying what I had.

But the berries were healthy and when I'd get them in the house I'd open them up and with a flashlight I could see a small really tiny worm only as big as like a piece of floss or thread moving around in the juice.

So it was on this forum where I first learned about SWD.

Last year with the drought all my berries burned up. This year I have quite a lot on my Heritage (as they seemed to weather the drought much better than the Caroline. I lost maybe 3/4 of my Caroline plants whereas the Heritage seemed to have had maybe only 10% of the plants die) I've got a couple vinegar traps out and no flies in them yet, so I'll just have to see when my berries are ripe I guess.

But I'm sort of in the same camp with those who aren't willing to risk the other fruits, and don't want risk the pollinators either. It's a tough call, but I may wind up removing my berries too in the end.


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"But I'm sort of in the same camp with those who aren't willing to risk the other fruits"

Well according to Oregon Dept of Agriculture they attack
blueberry, cane berries, cherry, hardy kiwi, grape, peach, plum, and strawberry. So removing your berries they will go for your peaches. I guess I will start growing apples!
Actually I think I'm just going to get used to eating worms, I'm not giving up my berries.


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Oh man Drew51, that's like a punch to the gut!!!

I wasn't actually considering cherries and peaches. Guess I had my head in the sand and was only thinking the raspberries were a target.

Grrrr.

In retrospect, I'm wondering now if that was what was happening to my really later cherries on my big tree.

I had of course stopped any spraying well in advance of harvesting, and as the picking was coming to an end I began to notice some damaged cherries with a couple pin holes in them.

I'd drop them on the ground, then when I was done picking cherries for the day I'd get on my hands and knees and pick up all the drops under the tree, put them in a plastic bag and spray in there with a bit of insecticide.

My harvest ran from 6/25 - 7/10 so I imagine those later cherries on the tree had been insecticide free from a good long while. I don't know, just thinking out loud a bit....

This whole SWD thing is maddening as all get out though!


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  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 23:13

"Well according to Oregon Dept of Agriculture they attack
blueberry, cane berries, cherry, hardy kiwi, grape, peach, plum, and strawberry."

Drew,

While SWD does go after those fruits, apparently some are a better host than others. So far strawberries seem to ripen (for the most part) before SWD populations build.

While SWD will go after peaches, at this point it seems like the pest prefers thinner skinned fruits like blackberries and raspberries.

The big issue for me is picking up the fallen fruit. As Frank pointed out, small berries are pretty much impossible to pick up.

It's an interesting thought to keep a trap crop (like blackberries) for the pest. But if the berries produce "clouds" of SWD, I'm not sure the pest will stay on the berries. I think effective trap crops are ones that don't multiply the pest.


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  • Posted by bob_z6 6b/7a SW CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 0:37

I've had a massive infestation in my berries this year and am less than an hour East of Harvestman. Triple Crown was very productive this year and the 2nd half of the harvest was almost completely impacted. I found SWD in virtually every soft berry I checked. The are pretty small, but as Rob points out, you just need to look for movement and they are easy to see. Here's a pic of one I extracted from a berry about 2 weeks ago (Triple Crown is done now).

Now they are now working on the fall raspberries. I'm still eating plenty of them, but I've found that once the worm gets to a certain size (or spoils the berry to a certain point, I'm not sure which), it imparts a bad flavor. Anytime I look inside the berry and see liquid, it is a good idea to pass on eating it. I've been dropping them and mushing them with my foot, figuring that it will kill the worm and the berry will rot away or be eaten before more worms can grow.

The one other fruit which they seem to like (beyond blackberry/raspberry) is elderberries. They are hard enough to de-stem when normal, but when a third of the berries are squishy and shriveled it ceases to be worth it. I picked a bunch just before the SWD hit and laboriously harvested a few after. It made great jelly with blackberries (not late stage, but probably had a few small worms). Even so, it was a real pain and I'm thinking about eliminating the largest bush. It's greatly outgrown its location, so that increases my inclination to remove it (or cut it back from a 12'x12'x12' monster to just a few stems). I may just keep some new starts from it in a more convenient location.

I haven't seen any in the peaches I've been picking. But, my trees are young and don't have much fruit. What there is gets picked before rotting (easy to do when each tree has 4-20 fruits), which probably helps.

I haven't seen any in apples, but last fall Axel_sc said:
"Apples and pears were left alone until all stone fruits and soft fruit disappeared, then apples and pears got them. The maggots don't survive in the apples and pears, they just damage them."

For now, the elderberry is the only thing on the chopping block, but that may change if my precious apples start to be impacted.


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For those who don't want to mess with salt water, simply refrigerating or freezing the fruit will bring many worms to the fruit or container surface where they are easily spotted.


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So, you can't taste them and they don't ruin the fruit?


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Why not try putting freshly picked berries into an ice bath ( two trays of ice or more)--and see if the wormy ones sink to the bottom. That's what I found to be true last year, but we mowed our Heritage patch and it 's not come back for the fall crop yet, so I have not tested this procedure this year.
Since I have a worm phobia, I use both ice and salt together for anything suspicious--like broccoli and raspberries. Then I dry freeze raspberries on cookie sheets or large trays. Bagging this way permits partial use of berries at any given time.


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  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 10:15

It looks like the eastern half of the country is the worse so far, see below. But I've heard many reports of severe issues out west. And we have the old fashioned kind on over ripe fruit here so I guess the desert will get hit in time....:(

Here is a link that might be useful: SWD distribution


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  • Posted by bob_z6 6b/7a SW CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 10:50

If you pick them at just the right time, I think raspberries are still unaffected flavor-wise. But the SWD makes them go bad much more quickly. Last week, I picked raspberries for 3 days in a row and there were still some bad berries. When I went 1-2 days without picking, maybe 1/3 were bad (had water in middle). The two in the bottom-middle of this pic are bad, while the other four were fine.

Blackberries are much worse, as they are tougher to time than raspberries- I'm still getting the hang of when they are just right to pick. To get good sweetness they need to soften up a bit. But, as soon as they start to soften SWD really spoils them. Before SWD I was getting a lot of good ones. Afterwards it was rare for me to have a really flavorful, top-quality sweet berry. I picked a bunch firm-ripe (pretty sour) and made good jelly (with the elderberries), but they weren't great fresh eating.

This post was edited by bob_z6 on Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 10:55


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  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 12:18

If you are not sure if they are around, you can always set out a trap and see what you get in it.

I put out traps a week ago, just wanted to drown some of them, I can hope and wish it helps a little. Here are some pics of this past week:
 photo aa_zps1876e46a.jpg
 photo cc_zpsa0cfb386.jpg

by this rotting stage, the maggots are large.
 photo bb_zps643e4955.jpg

I see these spiders frequently on my peaches, they like fruitfly meals.
 photo dd_zps5390278b.jpg

Aphid lions? more like fruitfly lions
 photo aa_zpsfab4e9c3.jpg


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Bob,
I have also been told to pick fruit frequently and early. Frequent is easy I tend to do that anyway. The early part is hard to swallow...what's the point of growing your own fruit if you can't let it ripen up properly? I can get firm,flavorles/sour at the supermarket.
But as you point out, if you try to wait that extra few days to get things properly ripe...rotten juice. These things just develop so damn fast.


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...the old fashioned kind (of fruit fly)(that we would gladly trade for)...

The darndest thing, ever since the SWD showed up here a few years ago, I have not seen a single old-fashioned (very dark and tiny)(attacks only over-ripe fruit) fruit fly around the berry patch since (and they don't appear in my traps).

And I am dubious that fly larvae in a solid blackberry would affect the specific gravity enough to cause the berry to either sink or swim, but I will try that next year.


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What if you have an earlier raspberry and repeatedly spray it without intention of eating it yourself? That's my idea of a "trap crop".

Need something that doesn't poison birds, though.


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Netted strawberries might make a good trap to kill SWD without damaging birds.


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>Blackberries are much worse...To get good sweetness they need to soften up a bit. But, as soon as they start to soften SWD really spoils them. Before SWD I was getting a lot of good ones. Afterwards it was rare for me to have a really flavorful, top-quality sweet berry. I picked a bunch firm-ripe (pretty sour) and made good jelly (with the elderberries), but they weren't great fresh eating.

Same here. I have eaten maybe 5 tasty blackberries this summer, out of a crop of zillions.

I froze most of mine at the black-but-sour stage for pies, crisps, and jam in wintertime. Most blackberries seem to go straight from that stage to fermented, with SWD, and rarely hit a 'sweet spot' in between.

>The darndest thing, ever since the SWD showed up here a few years ago, I have not seen a single old-fashioned (very dark and tiny)(attacks only over-ripe fruit) fruit fly around the berry patch since (and they don't appear in my traps).

I had about a hundred SWD in my traps thursday -- and one regular fruit fly.

But that was a week after the project of cleaning up all dropped fruit, and all fruit in the compost pile. In my garden at least, SWD control is going to deprive regular fruit flies of food.

>What if you have an earlier raspberry and repeatedly spray it without intention of eating it yourself? That's my idea of a "trap crop".
>Need something that doesn't poison birds, though.

Or bees.


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Bees aren't too much a problem when fruit is almost ripe- at least here with varieties I grow. Flowering is finished.


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  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 19:25

Wow, I am glad I read this forum. I have never seen them, and I had no idea, I knew they were in the West Coast but thought that the Midwest is too cold. I see from the Michigan State website that they are established in West Michigan. They are one to three years away, tops. I will also have to eliminate every plant in the orchard that blooms now (goldenrod and echinacea for example). Numerous wild blackberries around the perimeter, ripening in early August. We will have to see how this plays.


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I'm new here, but I had to post on this one.

The first thing I spotted SWD on was my elderberries. I have a huge wild elderberry, which produced over 6 quarts this year with no problems. But that was earlier than any other bush. The next one to ripen was my black elder and that was a disaster. I would say that about 1 out of every 2 berries was affected by SWD, but I didn't know what SWD was then. I'm an entomologist (aquatic), but I should have known better? Anyway, I researched SWD thoroughly before realizing that's what it was and contacted my county ag extension. Seems I'm the first in my county (eastern PA).

Since then I've had to destroy most of my elderberry crop and all of my Triple Crown blackberries, and they are starting to really affect my Caroline raspberries and Concord grapes. There are plenty of wineries in this region; I wonder how this will affect them?

Someone else posted about elderberries. What happened to them? Mine are all falling off before they get anywhere near black, and all of them seem to have the larvae inside or at least the egg, as all have a small puncture wound which oozes juice if even slightly squeezed. They are almost impossible to pick up, so I just squish them. And yes, there are clouds of flies around the clusters.

As a side note, most of my fruit goes to wine.

Also of note, and this is just an observation today. My traps aren't catching any SWD anymore. I got sick of using the good cider vinegar and bought a big generic gallon bottle, but since I switched the flies prefer the fruit! They not only like the best fruit, I think they want gourmet vinegar as well!


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  • Posted by bob_z6 6b/7a SW CT (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 23:22

Fruitful412,

After I noticed the SWD on my elderberries, I removed the CD's which I was using to scare the birds away. Since then, most of the elderberries have been eaten (I hope, I haven't examined the ground closely). I like the idea of the SWD becoming bird-food.

Similar to your experience, the first picking (on 8/4) went well for me too. I was able to finish the Sampo bush and pick about 1/3 of the Samdal. Since a lot of the Samdal clusters were only partially ripe (if that), I left them for another week. It may have been the few ripe ones in the unripe clusters which drew the SWD. By the next weekend, there were a lot of SWD flying around the clusters and about 1/3 of the berries were ruined. After spending some time trying to separate good from bad by hand, I surrendered and gave the birds the berries.

Side note- I don't normally see any info about this online, but Sampo ripened about a week before Samdal, even though the Sampo is in a shady location and the Samdal is in almost complete sun.

I haven't noticed any SWD in my grapes (Mars and something left from the previous owners, possibly Concord). But, today I noticed some flying around the Concord which have been rotting again. I didn't see any SWD near the Mars, which is almost completely ripe, but doesn't have any rot (nice!). A few weeks ago I budded the Mars onto the main Concord vines and will replace them if successful.


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  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 10:22

If you have to load up on apple cider vinegar, I used to make hard cider about ten years ago. I got busy with work, I forgot to fill the bubblers and a couple of the carboys became vinegar. That is a lot less expensive than buying it, and it can be done inside a one gallon plastic jug. Just ask the cider mill not to put any preservatives (in my case, they ask that I show up at a specific time). What is the recommended trap density?


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Yes, that happened to my blackberry wine a few years ago. Sure smelled up the basement. I haven't had much luck with blackberry wine since, and this year the SWD took care of any chances. The TC's were destroyed, and now I'm waiting for my second crop of Prime Jans. Saw two with SWD today, so I'm not holding out much hope. The Caroline raspberries are goners, too. About 1/3 have been affected, so I'm biting the bullet and destroying them as well. The Anne yellows are free of infestation so far! A little botrytis, with so much rain, but no fly damage.

I really only had one visitor to my elderberries the whole summer, the local mockingbird. I did have the big bush under net, though, and one day I caught the mockingbird under it. Then when I took off the net, toward the end of production, he invited the catbird from across the road to dine with him. But neither of them will touch the berries anymore. They know something's wrong with them, I'll bet.

I'm a little bit confused, too. I have a York elderberry at the extreme back of the yard, next to a cornfield, and that bush shows virtually no signs of infestation. That bush produced berries for the first time. The other York is up by the garage, one shoot going about ten feet tall this year with a cluster I can't even reach without a ladder, blooms about fifteen inches across, and that bush was the one with clouds of flies around it. The Adams next to it dropped all of its berries before I could harvest them. But the bush out back was next to the black elder on which I first discovered the flies. Go figure.

I've seen several sites which specify that traps cover 1/6 acre to 1 acre, depending on the portion of the country they're in. I have about 1/2 acre and two traps, one between the raspberries and elderberries, and the other next to the grapes. (One-quart plastic soup containers w/lids, courtesy of our local apple festival. Excellent homemade soup!) I changed the vinegar tonight, so let's see what they catch. So far the grapes aren't doing too badly. It's easy to see fallen fruit the way I have them situated, and I only found four on the ground today (out of six vines), of which only two showed signs of SWD. I'm praying they leave them alone.


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Seems to me that cleaning up isn't going to have much effect if the flies are wallowing in all the dropped wild mulberries all over the place. Or all the wild brambles out in the fields.


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  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 22:37

Yeah, I have the white mulberries all over the place, their fruiting overlaps to the point they produce fruit from mid june to end of august. Probably hundreds of pounds of fruit on the ground at any one time for good breeding material.

I read that in an orchard, place the traps every 30'. I only have a couple traps, never got around to putting them around my blackberries yet, will be more prepared next year. Hope the predators are more prepared too


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Folks around here have not been having good luck with the use of traps to control population. They seem to be best used as an effective indicator of when to begin spray control if that's the route one is taking.

Supposedly unlike normal fruit flies, the SWD won't lay in fallen fruit. So clean up is about removing fruit with eggs and devloping larva,. With a cyle as short as 10 days egg to adult, it is only effective if you are really on top of it.


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  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 26, 13 at 9:31

Yes, the traps are really only considered for monitoring when they start appearing and give an idea of the infestation. But I don't spray, so any little thing will help. No predators are ending up in the traps and the fruit flies are dying in there, so somewhat positive. I'd imagine also that removing spoiled fruit gets rid of a food source since adults like eating the spoiled fruit, which probably gives the females energy to keep producing eggs at a high volume.


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In a search I found information on cold tolerance of SWD but the more I read the more confused I got. Any chance of an interpretation?

Here is a link that might be useful: ...Drosophila suzukii under simulated winter conditions...


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  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 11:16

This morning I found an adult spotted wing drosophilia (SWD) on a raspberry leaf, so they have made it to Madison, WI. Some of the raspberries are OK to eat, and some are damaged and infested. We also have ants, & I think there are some other insects that eat ripe raspberries, so I have to inspect each one when picking fruit. We also have blueberry shrubs, and to my knowledge, there was no SWD damage or infestation on this crop. The blueberry harvest was over by July 15 this year. I am not seeing SWD on our tomato crop.


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  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 14:28

The swd like my cherry tomatoes that split easy and drop a lot of fruit, think I need to grow less of it.


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EricWi, they have definitely made it to Madison. This was posted on a local orchard's FB page.

-------------------

BREAKING NEWS: We are sad to announce that this is our last year of growing raspberries.

Here's why: Spotted Winged Drosophila (SWD), an invasive Asian fruit fly, has arrived in Wisconsin and has made growing raspberries sustainably impossible. This new fruit fly is able to lay its eggs in fruit that is just ripening. The result is a small white larvae that develops in the berry and accelerates spoilage. While consuming these tiny larvae is not a health hazard, many of you may not enjoy these "protein added" berries.

The only option to effectively manage this new invasive is to spray the berries repeatedly during the harvest season which also effectively kills pollinators and other beneficial insects. We have never done this with our fruit and will not do so now. The principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are not successful in the management of this fruit fly.

If you want more information about SWD, we suggest an internet search. There are many university sites (including UW) dedicated to this new invasive insect.

For the remainder of the fall 2013 season, our customers may pick our beds FREE of charge. The lightest colored, firmest berries are the least likely to contain these larvae.


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@harvestman:

>Bees aren't too much a problem when fruit is almost ripe- at least here with varieties I grow. Flowering is finished.

Oh! My raspberries are blooming now, not to mention summer squashes and brassicas and herbs and stuff. And the strawberries for some reason decided to make their main crop in August this year. I have bees everywhere.

@glib:

> I will also have to eliminate every plant in the orchard that blooms now (goldenrod and echinacea for example).

Why is that? Did I miss something?

I am so sorry to hear about everyone's losses :(.


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Hey, have any of you SWD folks had a population explosion of spiders? I'm wondering if the two phenomena are connected. Or maybe it's just because we had a warm winter :).


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EricWi, they have definitely made it to Madison. This was posted on a local orchard's FB page.

-------------------

BREAKING NEWS: We are sad to announce that this is our last year of growing raspberries.

Here's why: Spotted Winged Drosophila (SWD), an invasive Asian fruit fly, has arrived in Wisconsin and has made growing raspberries sustainably impossible. This new fruit fly is able to lay its eggs in fruit that is just ripening. The result is a small white larvae that develops in the berry and accelerates spoilage. While consuming these tiny larvae is not a health hazard, many of you may not enjoy these "protein added" berries.

The only option to effectively manage this new invasive is to spray the berries repeatedly during the harvest season which also effectively kills pollinators and other beneficial insects. We have never done this with our fruit and will not do so now. The principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are not successful in the management of this fruit fly.

If you want more information about SWD, we suggest an internet search. There are many university sites (including UW) dedicated to this new invasive insect.

For the remainder of the fall 2013 season, our customers may pick our beds FREE of charge. The lightest colored, firmest berries are the least likely to contain these larvae.


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RE: Another SWD rant

Neighbor's peaches have them - DS and I picked for an hour Thursday, I took only the unblemished firm (but not rock-hard) fruit, left her 2 bags that had small punctures (not browning) in skin and told her she needed to clean up the drops the next day and get her DH out with a ladder to pick high ones, really have to keep on top of it.

By Friday afternoon I found some of mine (kept in dehumidifed basement) were going soft, threw some out (in ziplock bag) and cut all the rest that had any soft spot at all up, peeled for dessert on Sat afternoon (family funeral). Only 1 had a larva in it that I could see. By this morning I'd found more that were rotting, cut them all up, found a few larvae - seem to go in the stem end and eat around the pit, causing brown mushy flesh and some black spots. Any that didn't peel well or were not firm went into the pot for peach butter but I found tiny white larvae in the pot after boiling so bagged and trashed the pulp, poured the liquid down the drain.

The firm light yellow flesh I sliced and refrigerated with Fruit Fresh, after dinner I made a light syrup and briefly boiled the slices ( a pint at a time) and canned them, I found 1 tiny white larva in the slices (hope that's all there was).

And now I have them flying around my kitchen that's full of ripening tomatoes and organic apples - I have more tomatoes picked Wed down the basement, they had been sitting in ventilated bins (single layer) next to the peaches, I hope they aren't attacking them since I am selling tomatoes at market.

I did see a few regular fruit flies (black larger than SWD) on a pint of cherry tomatoes in my kitchen before I brought the peaches up. I don't have them (yet) on my TC blackberries but I've been picking them every morning, only 5 canes planted last year so not too hard to keep up with. But I imagine the fall raspberries (some still blossoming, doesn't look like first ones got pollinated) will be more subject to attack.

DH cut down all the wild blackberries near the house that have come up in the past 2 years (after I picked and destroyed all fruit with any color), is planning on burning them, and is working his way out back but I don't know if we'll be able to eradicate them all - just too many out in the woods. And I used to get a good price for them too.

I didn't know elderberries were a host - I'll have to have him cut those down too.

I am putting all cooked fruit pulp, cores, and rotten/split tomatoes in ziploc bags before trashing them - not composting any sweet fruit or tomatoes at all. Does anybody know if cukes or squash in compost is a problem? I know the rinds are too hard for SWD to lay in, but once they start rotting are they attractive, or do they only go for sweet fruit?


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RE: Another SWD rant

It's strange how different crops seem to be problems for different people. I picked my 2 Carolina Gold peaches (not 2 trees, 2 peaches) the other day and they were fine. In fact, they were great (topping out at 18 brix with lots of flavor).

Is there any fruit SWD doesn't like? Pomegranate is the only thing I can think of which would be impervious...I've got a few in pots, but they haven't done that well- maybe I need to try a hardy one in the yard.

My fall raspberries have gotten worse. Now, 95% of the ripe ones have worms and some of the just-turning-red ones are also infested. For some reason the Anne yellow raspberries haven't been as badly hit (though still impacted). It could be that since they are taller, they get more air and sun (while SWD likes cooler moist areas). I've noticed more SWD swarming in areas where the canes are thicker.

I actually gave up on 2 rows of fall raspberries earlier today (in the moister part of the yard). I've cut the tops off, but not ripped them out. I'm undecided about either giving the plants to friends and family, or getting rid of them (they may have the same issues and just act as another SWD stronghold...).

It occurs to me that it may become a desirable trait for a raspberry to have no fall crop whatsoever. That way there is nothing for the SWD to infest and pull it into the yard. Of course, that may just push them onto things I care more about (apples, peaches, pears, hardy kiwi, etc).

Anyone know how is this handled in parts of the world where SWD is native?


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RE: Another SWD rant

Windfall Rob: Would tarps on the ground (or some other more permeable fabrics) be a solution for picking up berry drops?

Milehighgirl: Ok, I admit I only skimmed the article. At quick read, it seems to me it's saying that they should die under, let's say, northeast freeze conditions, but can survive in man-made habitats that are warmer - i.e. homes, basements, greenhouses..? They seem to be suggesting that late season infestations in cold winter areas may come from drifting populations from warmer areas (since it takes some time for them to get there?).

Could row covers be effective?
What if everybody burned their crops for one year? (yeah, I know, naive, impractical, economically devastating. But this is a very dangerous-looking reality! Major food crisis in the making).

Someone else asked, and I repeat the question: What do they do about this in Japan?


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