SWD Winter Kill
ELIZABETH BEERS ... "It's a pretty bad problem. It has gone from an unknown pest to probably our greatest pest of concern on sweet cherries."
WSU Entomologist Elizabeth Beers says SWD is relatively new to the Pacific Northwest, but is a potentially devastating pest to sweet cherries ...
ELIZABETH BEERS ... "We have some historical indication that Spotted Wing Drosophila is not especially winter-hardy. It's more of a temperate zone pest. So, over on the west side, over on the coast, where it rarely dips below freezing, it survives very well. Eastern Washington, on the other hand, is routinely subject to below zero temperatures, or below freezing temperatures, and occasionally below zero temperatures and this pest is not terribly well adapted for this climate and these are the winters that sort of put it to the test."
Beers says the winter preceding the 2015 growing season, one of the mildest on record, was a good indicator ...
ELIZABETH BEERS ... "That was the year we had some of our worst problems with SWD and a simple and straight forward conclusion is just that they survived the winter in much higher numbers than they normally would and we had a lot more going into the season. And, so we had a lot more to start with and they multiplied from there."
More on the winter's effect on SWD tomorrow.