The spotted wing drosophila is a tiny non-native fly, about two pinheads in size, resembling the common vinegar fly, that’s a big growing pain for small fruit.
Damage to healthy, ripening fruit
Unlike the common vinegar fly, the spotted wing drosophila lays its eggs in ripening and undamaged fruit, not overripe and damaged fruit. The feeding damage by the pest’s wormy larvae can cut a crop’s quality, yield, and income. In Ohio, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, and plums, among others, can be hit.
What can you do about it, especially if you farm organically?
A workshop at the upcoming annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association may have an answer.
Construction basics and practice
Led by grower Jay Cooper and CFAES scientists Jim Jasinski and Celeste Welty, the workshop will look at exclusion netting as a way to keep spotted wing drosophila off your crops. You’ll learn the basics of exclusion structures, will learn how to build one, and will hear about successes and possible pitfalls, all of it based on the speakers’ experiences. There will be photos and videos about building such structures and practice doing it, too.
“Using Netting to Exclude Spotted Wing Drosophila on Small Fruit” is offered during Session I of the conference, 8:30–10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 15. The conference overall runs from Feb. 14–16. Learn more about the conference and how to register.
In all, the conference is offering nearly 80 workshops.
CFAES is a Sustaining level sponsor of the event. (Photo: Spotted wing drosophila adults on raspberry, Hannah Burrack, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org.)