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The Northeast IPM SWD Working Group invites fruit growers, extension specialists, and researchers dealing with SWD to participate in our yearly meeting. The focus of the meeting is for farmers and scientists to share field and research reports culminating in priorities to guide our work on spotted wing Drosophila.

We meet on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at the Cornell University Hudson Valley Lab, located at 3357 US Highway 9W, Highland, NY. We convene for an informal dinner the night before, Monday, September 15. Participants will gather at 7:45 AM and the meeting will start promptly at 8:15 AM. Your host, Lab Superintendent Peter Jentsch, says, "We're looking forward to hosting the event here at the lab."

The morning session includes fruit industry reports and an open floor for fruit growers to share their experiences with SWD. The Working Group benefits immensely from farmer input, opinions, and ideas. Please consider attending to help guide our work on SWD.

Field reports from states and provinces in Northeastern North America, research updates, and setting and ranking SWD priorities are also on the agenda. The meeting ends at 4:00 PM.

Interested in attending? Email Laura McDermott at to let her know and tell her if you'll join us for dinner. The group receives funding from the Northeast IPM Center for the meeting which helps defray travel costs for participants.

Need lodging for the 15th? Super 8 Highland, 3423 US Highway 9W, Highland, NY 12528. Call 1-845-691-6888 ASAP to secure your room; ask for the SWD Working Group rate.


A single female SWD was caught in a trap collected on August 25, 2014 by Paul Hetzler, St. Lawrence County Cornell Cooperative Extension. The trap was set in a berry field. (GDD = 1749, day length 13:31)

To date, most trapping sites in NY have caught SWD, reached sustained trap captures, and populations are climbing. Exceptions to this are three sites in Herkimer County, one site in Saratoga County, and one site in Clinton County, where SWD has not been caught. The tricky aspect of monitoring is that we think that once there is ample ripe fruit in the field and on the ground, the traps may not be as attractive to SWD, though research hasn't verified this.

Traps in the sites I am monitoring in Central NY, the Finger Lakes, and eastern Lake Ontario regions are being pulled this week. The combined total number of SWD caught in the four traps per site at those locations is still low (less than 20) in most sites. However, we are seeing evidence of oviposition and infestation of fruit. SWD populations will continue to increase into the fall and early winter months placing late-season fruit crops at high risk of infestation.

If you are growing blackberries, fall raspberries, elderberries, day neutral strawberries, or late-season blueberries, an insecticide program should be initiated to protect fruit from infestation. The good news is that many of NY's fruit crops escaped infestation this year because SWD arrived 2-4 weeks later than in 2013.

Four male SWD were caught the week ending August 14, 2014 in traps being monitored in red raspberry by Donald Gasiewicz, Wyoming County Cornell Cooperative Extension. One SWD was caught in a trap set on the edge of the planting; the other three were caught in one trap within the planting. Male SWD are quite distinctive, having a spot on each wing.

SWD male
SWD male, note spot on each wing.

One male and one female SWD were caught the week ending August 8, 2014 in traps being monitored in blueberry by Cara Fraver and Laura McDermott, Eastern NY Horticulture Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension. The SWD were both caught in a trap set on the edge of the blueberry planting; the other three traps at the site had no SWD.

The SWD monitoring network anticipates an upswing in SWD numbers in the coming weeks. Please plan to protect your late summer berry crops from infestation. As fruit becomes ripe and there is lots of it, traps may compete poorly with fruit for SWD.

Consider attending a demonstration of the use of exclusion netting for SWD in blueberry on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at The Berry Patch of Stonewall Hill Farm, 15589 NY Route 22, Stephentown, NY. The manufacturer of the netting will also be there.

A high tunnel raspberry planting outfitted with a fixed spray system will also be demonstrated.

Please register by calling Marcie at 518-272-4210 – there is no fee, but we need to have enough meeting materials prepared for you. Leave a voice mail with the number attending, your name and a phone number.  This event will happen rain or shine. Questions? - call Laura McDermott, Eastern NY Horticulture Program at 518-791-5038.

This event is in Rensselaer County, so for those of you in Eastern NY and adjacent areas of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, this may be a good opportunity to see how exclusion netting is applied over a blueberry planting and how a fixed spray system is engineered so you can decide if this might work on your farm.

One female SWD was caught the week ending August 6, 2014 in traps being monitored in blueberry by Jabe Warren, Chemung County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Most trap network locations now have first catch of SWD, though numbers are low. Counties where SWD has not been caught in the network, to date, include Clinton, Herkimer, Livingston, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Steuben, Tompkins, and Wyoming. Reports of fruit damage are also low to none, less than 15% of fruit with egg laying. (GDD = 1511, day length = 14:10)

Two SWD, one female and one male, were caught in two traps on August 6, 2014 in Tioga County. Traps are set in a blueberry planting and are being checked daily by the farmer who called in his findings to Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program. The four SWD traps are filtered daily to remove the caught fruit flies and the flies are checked microscopically. On a weekly basis, the apple cider vinegar drowning solution and the bait lures are replaced.

The farmer reports a lot more fruit flies being caught in the traps now. The number of SWD is still low (0.5/trap). Because the farm's blueberry harvest will wind down early next week, this farmer will likely choose not to apply insecticide against SWD this year and will proactively explain to customers about SWD using the IPM invasives & exotics fact sheet.

Two female SWD were caught the week ending July 30, 2014 in traps being monitored by Betsy Burgeson, Chautauqua County Cornell Cooperative Extension, in blueberry and raspberry. The females were caught in separate traps, one in the blueberry planting and one in the raspberry planting on the same farm. (GDD = 1230, day length = 14:26)

Detail of the spotted wing Drosophila female's abdomen showing the extended ovipositor and the dark, saw-toothed edge used to cut into fruit to lay her eggs inside.
Detail of the spotted wing Drosophila female's abdomen showing the extended ovipositor and the dark, saw-toothed edge used to cut into fruit to lay her eggs inside.

Three SWD were caught in traps set in two berry farms in Orleans County in the weeks ending July 22 and 25, 2014. Two females, one at each location, and one male were found in a total of six traps. The traps are being monitored by Elizabeth Tee working with Debbie Breth in the Lake Ontario Fruit Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and are in raspberry and blueberry. (GDD 1313; day length 14:49 and GDD 1364; day length 14:43)

SWD has been caught in traps for two weeks in a row = sustained trap catch at locations in Rensselaer, Albany and Cayuga Counties. The locations in Albany and Cayuga Counties have very low numbers this week, still. The location in Rensselaer County does have higher numbers in week two, 16, versus 2 in week one. The Onondaga County location had reduced SWD numbers, dropping from 21 in week one to 3 in week two, after initiating a spray program.  This may demonstrate the effectiveness of insecticide programs for reducing trap catch or SWD populations in fruit plantings. Thank you to Laura McDermott and Cara Fraver, Eastern NY Horticulture Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and to my crew, Jacob Robinson and Tyler Sollenne, for helping us provide this information to the blog. Ripe and ripening fruit should be protected with insecticide sprays if not being clean picked.

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