Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)
About the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)
SWD is a vinegar gnat from China and Japan. We first discovered it in New Hampshire on September 6, 2011. In 2012, it was first detected in traps on July 11. The insect looks similar to our other 39 species of drosophilids: tiny (2mm long…about 1/12 inch) flies attracted to the odor of fruits and/or vinegar and fermentation. It attacks ripe and ripening fruit of brambles (raspberry & blackberry), strawberry, blueberry, grape, cherry, plum and peach, plus many species of wild berries. The females lay eggs INSIDE ripening fruit, so if you do not monitor your vulnerable crops, they could be infested with larvae inside.
If you wish to keep your fruit from becoming infested, it is critical to set up traps for the insects, and to monitor those traps regularly. When the flies appear and your crop is ripe or ripening, an insecticide spray can prevent it from being infested.
Important information for Growers:
For regular updates about this pest, please subscribe to our newsletters or call the fruit pest hotline at (603) 862-3763 (updated weekly through the growing season).
- Monitoring Spotted Wing Drosophila with Traps - includes how to make traps, what to bait them with, and how to use them.
Monitoring Spotted Wing Drosophila with Traps, updated June 2013 by Alan Eaton
2013 Suggested Modifications for SWD Traps, from the New England SWD Team
- Pesticides for Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) - Below are two lists of insecticides useful in the control of SWD, compiled by Mary Concklin (University of Connecticut). Please remember that these are intended to be useful guides; ALWAYS follow the label.
***Important note*** There are now two NH 24c labels (means they can only be used in NH) for Cheminova’s malathion 57%EC. They allow a higher rate (but fewer applications/season), so it is more effective than the regular rate. The label for highbush blueberries is SLN NH-130002. The lowbush blueberry label is NH-130001. Your pesticide dealer should be able to get the product and the special label.
Since this is a new pest, management options are somewhat limited, and are changing rapidly. Other excellent SWD Resources: