UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County

In the Orchard - June

Spotted Wing Drosophila adult
Spotted Wing Drosophila adult
 
 
Cherries are in the spotlight from early to mid June!  Enjoy them, but keep an eye out for a new cherry pest in our area, the Spotted Wing Drosophila. This is a fruit fly the size of a gnat which lays its eggs in ripening fruit.
 
Tiny punctures in cherry skin
Tiny punctures in cherry skin
 
 
 
Watch for firm fruit with one or more tiny holes, or soft spots on fully ripe fruit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Larva in cherry - note damage
Larva in cherry - note damage
 
 
 
 
If the fruit has some damage, check inside the cherries for the presence of tiny 1/8 inch white maggots (larvae).
 
 
 
 
The Spotted Wing Drosophila is a pest that has been in the Sacramento area for just two years, so we are still learning the best methods to manage it.  Few practical options other than spraying are available to homeowners right now, but proper disposal of infected fruit is critical.  Read the UC IPM Online pest note on management of Spotted Wing Drosophila for more information on the pest and what you can do.
 
SWD FOHC tent
In the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center orchard, we are trying a tent made from garden row cover material.
SWD tent tear
We have already had problems with tears in the fabric from wind damage and possibly from a raccoon.
Stay tuned for our assessment if it is a viable option. We lost most of our crop in 2011 to this pest, so we decided to take bold measures! Come to the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center Open Garden Day on June 16 to see our tent up close before we take it down for the season.

Download a printer friendly version of the UC IPM Online Pest Note 74158 about Spotted Wing Drosophila management here (PDF).

References

Dreves, A. J., and G. A. Langellotto-Rhodaback. 2011. Protecting Garden Fruits from Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). Corvallis: Oregon State University Extension Service EM 9026

Vlach, J. 2010. Identifying Drosophila suzukii. Salem: Oregon Department of Agriculture

Walton, V., J. Lee, D. Buck, P. Shearer, E. Parent, T. Whitney, and A. J. Dreves. 2010. Recognize Fruit Damage from Spotted Wing Drosophila. Corvallis: Oregon State University Extension Service EM 9021

SWD on cherry
SWD on cherry

4145 Branch Center Road, Sacramento, CA 95827       Master Gardener Phone:  916.876.5338             Fax:  916.875.6233

Webmaster Email: janfetler@gmail.com