It’s tiny, but it packs a wallop. That’s SWD — spotted-wing drosophila — a new invasive fruit fly that’s put down roots in nearly every berry-growing region in North America. Losses can range from “lots” to “entire crop wiped out.” In New York alone, that’s millions of dollars down the drain.
CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported from the field, interviewing growers and scientists who seek an answer to this menace — along with up-close-and–personal footage of the damage it wreaks.
Your kitchen-variety fruit fly likes overripe or rotting fruit. But SWD zeros in on fresh fruit. And often you can’t see the damage till after you’ve harvested your crop. Which means you can’t market it.
“Growers are losing tens of thousands of dollars on a per-farm basis,” said Cornell scientist Peter Jentsch.