What to Watch For: How Should North Carolina Strawberry Growers Plan for Spotted Wing Drosophila?
A few growers are starting to harvest strawberries in North Carolina, and as fruit ripen, now is the time to prepare for spotted wing drosophila management. Our recommendations for strawberries in 2014 are very similar to those we provided in 2013, with one important change.
Our recommendations for this year are:
- Strawberry growers should strongly consider monitoring for spotted wing drosophila. We recommend using yeast and sugar water baits (details here). We also discussed trapping methods and how many traps a grower should use in this post.
It’s important to note that this trapping recommendation is only for strawberry growers. For blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry growers, traps have not appeared as useful for timing treatments in North Carolina, and preventative treatments timed to fruit ripening are likely justified.
- Growers should be prepared to identify spotted wing drosophila adults and larvae. Not all little brown flies are spotted wing drosophila! See here for information on adult identification and here for information on larval identification.
- Growers should consider when to treat. Last year, using the yeast and sugar water baited traps, we captured flies in our research plots before we observed infestation, but in 2012 , using apple cider vinegar baited traps, fruit infestation developed before adult flies were caught. If treatment timing is initiated based on trap captures, be sure to use an attractive bait, not apple cider vinegar!
- If growers find infested fruit, they should take immediate action to remove it and prevent future damage. We have shared lots of information as to what growers should do if they find an infestation. Insecticides recommended for use against SWD are listed in the NC Agricultural Chemicals Manual (for materials recommended for use in North Carolina) and the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium Strawberry IPM Guide (for regional recommendations).