Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is an invasive pest of Asian origin. It was first detected in the United States in 2008 and has emerged as a devastating pest of berry crops. SWD control is particularly challenging in organic systems due to the lack of organically approved effective materials. A multiregional team of researchers funded by the USDA-NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) has investigated behavioral, cultural, and chemical management strategies for SWD over the past two years and developed these recommendations for organic management of SWD. Organic management of SWD requires a rigorous, persistent, and diverse management plan. Using as many control techniques as possible on your farm will help to reduce SWD infestation.

For effective management, follow these key points:

1) Monitor fields with traps and check the traps weekly starting from the fruit-set until the end of harvest.

2) Make sure to check the trapped flies and correctly identify SWD to determine their presence and number.  

3) Sample ripening and ripe fruit regularly to determine whether your management program is working.

4) As soon as SWD is detected in the traps while berries are ripening or ripe, implement management strategies which include using exclusion netting, if possible; experimenting with cultural control strategies such as pruning and weedmat mulches; decreasing your harvest intervals; keeping your planting clean by removing and destroying leftover fruit; and using recommended NOP-compliant insecticides to protect the fruit, as necessary.

5) While selecting insecticides for SWD control, take into account the efficacy, chemical class, harvest date, preharvest interval, re-entry restrictions, and your target markets.

6) If you are exporting fruit, also check carefully on the maximum residue limits (MRL) for the destination country.

7) Make insecticide application early in the morning or late in the evening to target peak SWD activity periods.

8) Calibrate your sprayer before making insecticide applications to ensure proper coverage.

9) Make sure to integrate cultural and physical control methods and rotate other classes of insecticides with Entrust sprays to delay the development of insecticide resistance.

10) Continue monitoring to evaluate your management program, and respond in a timely manner if needed.

11) Stay informed of your regional SWD pressure and new management techniques by using the resources listed below and contact your local Extension personnel if you have questions.

Status and Revision History
Published on Jun 04, 2018

Ashfaq Ahmad Sial Assistant Professor, Entomology Brian Little Research Professional II, Crop & Soil Sciences Craig R Roubos Postdoctoral Research Assoc, Entomology
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