Crop-damaging fruit pest found in South Dakota

9/10/2013 4:45 PM
By Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A pest that lays its eggs in fresh fruit has been found in South Dakota for the first time.

South Dakota State University entomologist Buyung Hadi caught the spotted-wing drosophila in a trap in southeastern South Dakota late last month, the Capital Journal reported (

The insect is about 3 millimeters long, yellowish brown in color with prominent red eyes. Males have dark spots on their wing tips. The pest native to Asia was first found in the U.S. in 2008 in California and has since spread to other parts of the country. It was first detected in Minnesota last summer and in North Dakota earlier this summer in cherries from the Carrington Research Extension Center.

Unlike some other fruit flies that prefer rotted fruit, the spotted-wing drosophila feeds on fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. The fly is a concern not only for commercial fruit growers but also for home gardeners, according to Hadi.

"It won't be as much of a big deal in South Dakota as it is in Minnesota and Michigan because of the amount of fruit production that we have," he said.

The bugs can be controlled by insecticides.


Information from: Pierre Capital Journal,

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