Spotted Wing Drosophila Working Group to Identify and Prioritize Research and Extension Needs

The goal of this project was to identify and prioritize the research and extension needs for understanding spotted wing drosophila (SWD), develop effective lines of communication between key stakeholders and develop SWD IPM guidelines for the northeastern region.

During the funding period the project directors held a one-day meeting involving fifty participants that included growers, university researchers, extension educators, government regulators, students and industry representatives. During this meeting important information was shared regarding SWD and priorities for research, extension and education were developed. The top five priorities determined were:

  • Know what to do—recommendations for 2013
  • Overwintering biology
  • Research on repellants
  • Attract-and-kill techniques, spheres, targeted areas
  • Identification of host-plant volatiles

Additionally the group conducted a survey to assess SWD damage throughout the Northeast. Based on the 129 respondents completing the survey, they found:

  • An average of 34% of berry crops were affected by SWD in 2012
  • The largest losses were in Highbush blueberries and fall raspberries
  • The least impacted were Junebearing strawberries
  • 65% of surveyed growers reported increased input costs due to SWD
  • Of the 37 growers that reported using bait traps, 78% reported them as effective
  • Sanitation was reported as the most effective cultural practice

The data are being used to direct the future work of the SWD working group and upcoming research projects. For example, recent funding was awarded to assess the effectiveness of attract-and-kill techniques on SWD. This work will continue to positively influence the field and assist in providing solutions for SWD control and management.

Read the full project summary and report.