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Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for Maine Fruit Growers – August 24, 2012

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Over the last week and a half, spotted wing drosophila numbers in our traps have increased significantly. We are now finding both male and female flies in the highest numbers of the season. In addition, we have found drosophila maggots infesting both highbush blueberry and raspberry fruit this week and have been getting reports from growers around the state of infested fruit. Some farms have closed berry sales for the season as harvest is coming to an end, and the few fruit remaining will not be worth the extra effort of repeated insecticide sprays to rescue them. For those with late fruit crops still to harvest, protection will now be necessary to prevent infestation by spotted wing drosophila. Up to this point weekly applications of an allowed insecticide have been adequate, but reports from the field suggest that more frequent applications will now be necessary to keep fruit free from maggots. Growers in southern states have found that a three to five-day spray schedule was needed to prevent infestation.


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