- Author: Chris M. Webb
Spotted wing drosophila (previously known as the cherry vinegar fruit fly) is an invasive species that was first spotted in California in August 2008 in Santa Cruz County. It can now be found all throughout California and further north to Canada and arrived in our area late last spring. It has been found on a variety of commercial and backyard host crops including: cherry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, boysenberry, varieties of Japanese plums, plumcots, and nectarines.
The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is native to Southeast Asia. It lays its eggs in fresh soft fruit underneath the skin. The larvae hatch and then burrow inside the fruit to continue their development. In the earliest stage of infestation there is virtually no visible signs of damage to fruit. This pest has the potential to create severe economic losses for commercial growers and a loss of produce at home and community gardens.
Much work is being done by UC researchers throughout the state to find safe and effective ways to combat this insect. Monitoring is being conducted in Ventura County by Farm Advisors Oleg Daugovish and Ben Faber, Research Associate Maren Mochizuki, and Lab Assistant Marjie Bartels.
What can you do? Stay informed. Up-to-date information regarding this pest can be found on the UCR Center for Invasive Species Research website .
A prior version of this post incorrectly stated SWD had been found in apples and pears. There have been no reports of damage to these fruits in California or Oregon. For further information, please refer to this UC IPM page.