- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ventura has a new pest, the cherry vinegar fly, Drosophila suzukii. This pest goes after not just cherries, but raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. It has been in the Central Valley and along the coast for over a year now and is a serious pest. Background information and an outline for likely management practices can be found on UC ANR's Strawberry and Caneberry blog. Color photos of the pest and damage caused along with lifecycle information can be found here.
Rose Hayden-Smith, our UCCE County Director, learned about the pest from Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzalez at a recent Farm Bureau meeting. She told Jim Downer, a Farm Advisor in our office, who grows berries at his home. Jim commented that he had seen a possible suspect on his fruit. Jim submitted the infested blackberry fruit into the County of Ventura Ag Commissioner and his suspicions were confirmed. In addition our Farm Advisors have been hearing reports from raspberry and blueberry growers about the effect of the flies on fruit.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.