New Pest Problems Part 2. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.
Drosophila suzukii. That is the name of new pest that is poised to become a major problem for fruit growers in the northwest. Dr. Helmuth Rogg, Entomologist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture says the spotted wing Drosophila is a new kind of fruit fly originally found in California cherries.
ROGG: We had gotten some calls and we went out and collected some fruit and the growers and the shippers say we've never seen anything like that before.
The issue is this drosophila or fruit fly attacks fresh fruit unlike the common variety fruit fly which is only attracted to rotten fruit. The question is why and how did this get to be a problem.
ROGG: We receive actually fresh fruit if I'm not mistaken from Japan so it could have come into the U.S. on fresh fruit from Asia and even though we have a control at the border, it's a maggot. It's a drosophila maggot so it's not really an actionable pest or reportable pest.
Rogg says that part of the issue is that when you see a fruit fly you don't really think of it as a fresh fruit problem but now it is important for producers and even home orchardists to watch for it especially since it is grape harvesting time.
ROGG: We informed the industry and the wine board and everybody is aware of it so I think people are out there and at least looking for it and see what's going on.
There is a meeting being held today to look into the problem as well as several agencies are appropriating funds to study ways to combat this pest. I'll have more details as I get them.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.