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The Spotted Wing Drosophila

This weeks post is from Stephanie Compton, Agrologist with the Morell River Management Co-op.

The Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is an Asian vinegar fly, first discovered on the west coast of North America in 2010. By 2011 this tenacious little fruit fly was found as far east as Ontario and in 2012 the first captures were confirmed on the east coast of North America, with the Canadian Maritimes included in it's range.

The Spotted Wing Drosophila is a pest of fruit crops and lays it's eggs in ripening fruit. It utilizes a wide range of hosts, with preference to blue, black and red fruits. Since it's discovery, fruit farmers have made a concerted effort to monitor and gain understanding of this species life cycle and habits in our region.

Home gardeners may be less aware of this pest and can find information on organic control methods by following this link: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/…/n…/hortmatt/2014/02hrt14a3.htm

Here is a link to Nova Scotia's Perennia fact sheet which also includes instructions to building a monitoring trap for SWD with a red Solo cup, black electrical tape, a small hole punch and apple cider vinegar as the bait: http://www.perennia.ca/…/General/SWD%20factsheet_May2013.pdf

Within three years, SWD is considered to be established in North America. We can't eradicate it, but we can continue to monitor it's life cycles and behaviours to improve agricultural management techniques.

- Stephanie Compton, Agrologist with the Morell River Management Co-op