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Spotted Winged Drosophila found locally and throughout New York and New England

Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

August 7, 2012

Spotted Winged Drosophila found locally and throughout New York and New England

Last week and early this week scouts throughout the state have reported finding SWD in vinegar traps or through other monitoring methods. These findings have been very small as far as numbers of individuals, but extension specialists in New England are warning that fruit fly numbers balloon quickly from initial sighting to infestation levels. Counties that have reported SWD catches include Albany, Columbia, Monroe, Orange, Orleans, Tompkins and Ulster counties.  Similar findings have been reported in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania throughout the early summer.  In light of these findings, blueberry, summer and fall raspberry and day-nuetral strawberry growers are urged to be vigilant about this pest.

Monitor for SWD- There are two basic strategies to monitor for SWD- trapping adult flies and monitoring fruit for larval infestation. To trap adult flies, you can use a clear plastic cup with a removable lid and poke several small holes (literature reports that you should use a drill bit of 0.1875 inch) 3" up from bottom all around the cup. Pour 2" of apple cider vinegar (studies have also tested sake, but the vinegar seems to work the best) into the cup. A drop of liquid soap helps break the surface tension so that the flies will sink.  Use a sturdy wire or plastic zip tie to hang the trap at the fruiting level of the canopy on the shaded side.  Ideally this should be done prior to fruit coloring. A minimum of three traps should be placed in a crop and the traps should be cleaned and checked weekly. Some traps use yellow sticky cards that are suspended above the vinegar. This may be helpful as you learn to ID the insect. To ID the submerged flies, you will need to strain vinegar through a fine filter. SWD males are MUCH easier than females to ID as they have the spotted wings. Female flies do not have spots on the wings and are IDed by looking at the ovipositor which is quite prominent in SWD. There are many fruit flies that may be drawn to the vinegar trap, so if you have insects in the vinegar, don't panic. For more information about
making your own traps, check out:

Managing SWD in Berry Crops
When to pull the trigger will be the trickiest decision for most growers. Anecdotally, extension researchers with just one season of experience are suggesting that growers not wait until they see large numbers of SWD in vinegar traps. This is because apple cider vinegar traps do not seem to be good early indicators of SWD.  In fact, most folks have been able to find larvae in fruit at close to the same time they are catching adults in the traps. Yeast traps, which are much tricker to see the flies in, have been shown to be much better lures, and some folks have suggested adding cheap wine to the apple cider to increase the potency of the phenol given off. 

Once you do decide to spray, the interval will depend on the materials you choose. In fall raspberries, a Malathion (used for control of Japanese Beetle 1 DTH, 12 hr REI) and Delegate (1 DTH and 4 hr REI)  rotation on a 7-10 day cycle should provide adequate control if you start early enough.  Spiking the mixture with a sugar solution of 1 lb of sugar per 100 gallons may help lure fruit flies into sprayed crop.  Other labeled materials include Molt-X and Entrust. For organic growers, Entrust should be used in rotation with Pyganic, but Entrust will provide the most efficacy. The spray program for organic growers needs to be closer to 5days to insure control.

For day neutral strawberry growers, materials used for tarnished plant bugs should help knock back SWD, and the use of sugar in the tank might improve the efficacy of the product for SWD.  AzaSol is labeled for SWD. Aza-Direct, another formulation of azadiractin, is OMRI approved as is Pyganic. The azadirachtin materials have 4 hours REI. Pyganic has 12 hours.

The cultural aspects of controlling these pests include picking the crop VERY clean. Remove all fruit that is spent. Try to gather drops (or spray the ground). Cull piles of fruit should be buried daily. 

How long does it take for fruit fly to develop?  Egg to larvae is usually 1-2 days but it can take as few 2 hours. Chilling fruit to almost 32 degrees may actually kill larvae, but temperatures around 40 degrees will only slow development.

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Asian Pears

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Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries



Unusual Fruit

Unusual Fruit

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Upcoming Events

Apple Leafcurling Midge IPM - Webinar

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 16, 2023

In recent years, the apple leafcurling midge (ALCM) has become an increasingly problematic pest in many orchards across the northeast.

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Western NY Fruit Conference - "State of the Industry"

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 27 - February 28, 2023
Henrietta, NY

CCE-LOF are excited to bring you a muti-day fruit conference in WNY! This is replacing our Winter Fruit Schools. Tentative Agenda is now available.

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Fire Blight Informational Series - Michigan Fire Blight Meeting

March 1, 2023 : Michigan Fire Blight Meeting
Traverse City, MI

The team leading the national fire blight SCRI grant "Comprehensive Fire Blight Management for the United States" is hosting a March meeting (in person or virtual) as well as a webinar series. This multi-state series will address new research on best management practices for fire blight control. You are encouraged to attend these events which will provide cutting edge research recommendations into how to manage fire blight. Each session eligible for some DEC credits (see below for quantities, and bottom of article for direction on how to receive credit).

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Save the Date! - Scroll down for Upcoming Events

Have you missed a meeting recently? All recorded LOFP hosted webinars can be found on our YouTube Channel

NOW - please scroll down to find the link to the short NY Herbicide Resistance Survey!

Courses Available All Year - Cornell Small Farms Program New Season of Online Courses-Enroll Now!


2-5 Feb - NOFA NY Virtual Winter Conference

8 Feb - Becker Forum - All Day - Oncenter, Syracuse

12-15 Feb - 66th Annual IFTA Conference & Tours - Grand Rapids, MI - $650

16 Feb - Apple Leafcurling Midge IPM - Webinar - 1:30-2:30pm - Registration Now Open

27 & 28 Feb - WNY Winter Fruit Conference - Registration Now Open

7-10 Mar - 2023 Annual Meeting & Conference of the 10th NASS & NASGA - San Luis Obispo, California

14 Mar - USDA/RMA Listening Session - Spring 2023 Apple Grower Meeting -
The Risk Management Agency (RMA) is inviting interested parties to participate in a listening session to discuss the proposed changes to the apple crop insurance program. Free - Rochester

14-15 Mar - Curso de Desarrollo de Liderazgo - contact Tim Shenk

15 Mar - Fire Blight Informational Webinar Series - Using biopesticides to help control fire blight - 7-8PM

16 Mar - CCE Stone Fruit Updates Webinar - registration coming soon

17 & 21 Mar - Pre-Exam Training to Become a Certified Pesticide Applicator - Wayne Co CCE - $50

21 Mar - Strep Resistant Erwinia amylovora in New York States - 1-2:30pm, virtual, registration coming soon

24 Mar - Test to Become a Certified Pesticide Applicator - Wayne Co CCE - $100 

13 Jun - Fire Blight Informational Webinar Series - Pruning and sanitation strategies to reduce fire blight - 7-8PM

18 Oct - Fire Blight Informational Webinar Series - Using weather and environmental conditions to optimize biologicals and biopesticides for bloom production - 7-8PM

Food Safety Virtual Office Hours

Cornell Institute of Food Safety "Virtual Office Hours", Tuesdays Noon to 1pm

Past recorded virtual office hours can be found on YouTube:

Webinar Recordings

Check out the recordings of some recent webinars:


Employment Opportunities

The CCE-LOF Program has created a space to share Lake Ontario Fruit Region local employment opportunities. See listings and details for sharing listings at|business

Pollinator Resouces

Now available Pollinator Resource Links

Meeting Recordings Now Available

Did you miss the recent meeting?  Check and see if we recorded it and added it to our website or Lake Ontario Fruit Program YouTube Channel.

Honeycrisp Meetup recordings available here.

Why are my trees growing so poorly? recording available here.

Additional Recorded Webinars listing with recording and resource link are available at|crops|apples|crop*38

New Publication on Growing Pawpaws

Are you a fan of pawpaws? These custardy fruits can be hard to come across, so this guide provides information on how to grow your own pawpaw from seed, and how to care for grafted seedlings. Pdf on growing now available.​|crops|unusual_fruit|crop*50

New Weed Management Technology Survey

Want to move away from herbicide reliance? Are you using novel technologies to manage weeds? We want to know about it to inform our weed science research. A team of weed scientists from University of California Davis, Oregon State University, and Cornell University are asking berry, tree fruit, tree nut, and vine crop growers to take 5 to 10 minutes and answer this short and anonymous survey. Weed Technology Survey link:

For more information on this survey please visit

Pollinator Webinar Series - Summer 2020

The Pollinator Webinar Series presented by Penn State cover bee health and pollination services.

Bloom Pesticides for Pollinator Health

A reference table created by Janet van Zoeren and Anna Wallis, is now available at|pests.