Insecticide Recommendations for Spotted Wing Drosophila Management During Harvest

— Written By Lauren Diepenbrock and last updated by

As discussed in an earlier post, we anticipated that 2016 would be a challenging year for spotted wing drosophila (SWD) management due to mild winter conditions and infestation in neighboring states. Because of this prediction, we have been monitoring for SWD in blueberry and blackberry fields since early May and have been posting that information as it becomes available.

As expected, we started both the blueberry and blackberry seasons with detectable populations of adult SWD before fruit began to ripen in both crops. Once ripe fruit became available, low levels of infestation have been consistently detected. SWD is a recent invader, and management options are limited and evolving as we learn more about its biology. For now, the most effective manner of management requires timely use of insecticides to keep SWD at bay and enable growers to have a successful season while researchers work to expand management tools.

Several growers have asked about new chemistries that are being tested against SWD and are looking for additional materials that can be added to their management programs, which rotate between our currently available chemistries (essential for insecticide resistance management). Currently available materials and recommendations are available for conventional caneberry and blueberry in the southeast through the Southern Region Small Fruits Consortium (organic blueberry IPM information is also available).

Rotational insecticide programs for SWD management in NC and GA blueberries were recently evaluated through collaboration between the Burrack (NCSU) and Sial (UGA) laboratories. Programs were designed to minimize crop damage, meet exportation requirements, and manage for resistance. We are currently evaluating data from a similar project in blackberry.