Skip to content

For those of us picking through the burgeoning number of vinegar flies caught in our traps to find the single female or male SWD, Faruque Zaman and Dan Gilrein, Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension, Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Laboratory, have written an article published in Vol 12, No 7 of the NY Berry News, starting on page 3. Two excellent figures show male and female SWD next to look-a-likes. Another excellent resource for SWD identification is the fact sheet from Penn State, Spotted Wing Drosophila, Part 1: Overview and Identification.

Greg Loeb's lab, Dept of Entomology, NY State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, has reared SWD from raspberry fruit that were collected on July 5 in Ontario County.

Laura McDermott, Eastern NY Horticulture Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, reports finding larvae in raspberry fruit collected July 15 in Rensselaer and Albany Counties, NY. Fruit were collected randomly and the sample included a small amount of overripe fruit.  Although the larvae may be SWD, it is not possible to distinguish SWD larvae from other fruit flies.

Infested red raspberry fruit may leave a red juice stain on the berry receptacle when the fruit is picked. Fruit with small indents or bruises where the berry surface appears to have flattened or deflated may be damaged. A salt floatation method may be used for monitoring SWD infestation levels as the season progresses. Immerse fruit in a solution of 1 Tbsp. (14.8 cc) table salt per 1 cup (236.6 ml) water, wait one hour and examine for larvae that float to the surface.

The SWD trap network in Long Island and the Hudson Valley region of New York is in sustained trap catch. Growers of susceptible, soft-skinned fruit, especially raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry should take this threat seriously. A management strategy that includes protection of the crop with insecticides should be considered. SWD females can lay eggs directly into ripening fruit.

SWD distribution map for NY indicates that all counties in Long Island and the Hudson Valley in which traps are being monitored have caught SWD. (Counties colored white do not have SWD traps; those in gray have no SWD trap captures to date = July 12, 2013.)

The Hudson Valley Lab will be hosting a workshop and webinar on SWD, 1:30-3:00 PM, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The Lab is located at 3357 Route 9W, Highland, NY. Commercial growers, Extension Educators and Master Gardener Coordinators are invited to attend or join the webinar to learn about this invasive insect, its production implications and control options in organic and conventional fruit plantings. The program is free but please RSVP to Mike Fargione by 7/15/2013 to 845-691-7117 or

Kat Loeck, Vegetable & Fruit Specialist, South Central NY Ag Team, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County will host a twilight meeting on Tuesday, June 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, at Silver Queen Farm, 5286 Stillwell Road, Trumansburg, NY, focusing on SWD. Cornell University faculty Julie Carroll, Fruit IPM Coordinator, NY State IPM Program, and Greg Loeb, Professor and Associate Chair of Entomology, will cover SWD biology and life history, SWD management, how to recognize infested fruit, how to identify SWD males, New York SWD trap network, SWD distribution map of first reports in NY, and the SWD blog to stay informed. Twilight meeting materials include:

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Biology and Life Cycle. June 2013.

Chemical Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Berry Crops. May 2013. Greg Loeb, Cathy Heidenreich, Laura McDermott, Peter Jentsch, Debbie Breth, and Juliet Carroll. Cornell University. New York Berry News, Volume 12, Number 5.

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Crops of Concern and Wild Hosts. June 2013.

Recognize Fruit Damage from Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD). December 2010. Vaughn Walton, Jana Lee, Denny Bruck, Peter Shearer, Emily Parent, Thomas Whitney, and Amy J. Dreves. Oregon State University and USDA ARS.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Identification Guide. June 2012. Steven Van Timmeren, Katie O’Donnell, and Rufus Isaacs. Dept of Entomology, Michigan State University, Lansing.

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Monitoring Traps. June 2013. Juliet Carroll. NYS IPM Program, Cornell University, Geneva.

Who’s monitoring SWD in NY? May 2013. Juliet Carroll. NYS IPM Program, Cornell University, Geneva.

For pdf copies of the meeting materials, contact Julie at


Guidelines for farmers to protect berry crops from spotted wing drosophila (SWD) were recently published in the NY Berry News. The article, Chemical Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Berry Crops, by Loeb et al., outlines key approaches for getting the best results from sprays aimed at protecting berries from SWD infestation.

Blackberry showing SWD infestation
Blackberries severely infested with SWD will hang limp, drip liquid, and dry out on the fruit cluster; inset shows a larva dissected from a blackberry fruit.

The SWD monitoring trap instructions have been updated. The new pdf is at the same link as the older version, on the SWD Monitoring page. Using the yeast bait in an ampule floating in the apple cider vinegar drowning solution has resulted in increased numbers of fruit fly captures per trap. So far, though, no SWD have been captured in NY. Stay tuned.

SWD male
SWD male, note spot on each wing.



Scientists at Cornell University have set traps in NY to monitor for the invasive spotted wing drosophila (SWD). As of June 7, 2013 no SWD have been found in any traps. We are posting data directly into a NY distribution map that is linked on Cornell Fruit Resources and NYS IPM websites. The Cornell University SWD team includes Art Agnello, Greg Loeb, Peter Jentsch and me. The Cornell Cooperative Extension team includes Amy Ivy, Bernie Armata, Betsy Burgeson, Dan Gilrein, Dave Thorp, Debbie Breth, Emily Cook, Faruque Zaman, Ginny Carlberg, Jim O'Connell, Jeff Miller, Kat Loeck, Kevin Iungerman, Laura McDermott, Mike Fargione, Paul Hetzler, Sharon Bachman, and Stephanie Mehlenbacher.

Skip to toolbar