Blackberry worms

Asked August 31, 2015, 4:40 PM EDT

My son picked a few pounds of berries in a bucket with a lid a few days ago. Today, I discovered lots of small yellow worms inside the bucket. I'm afraid the berries are a loss. How can I prevent this in the future or salvage the current berries? I can send a photo if that helps.

Coos County Oregon blackberries spotted wing drosophila

1 Response

Thanks for the question.

It sounds like your issue may be the spotted-winged drosophila if the 'worms' are 1/8 inch long maggots. Because female swd can lay many eggs and there can be many generations of swd per year, populations can rapidly build to damaging levels by late summer. If you would like to send a photo, that would help ensure that we are responding to the pest that I am presuming you are describing. The most difficult part of dealing with swd is that they are attracted to ripe and decaying fruit, and it is often too late to do anything once they are discovered.

As there are a number of ways in which to control this pest, I'm including this OSU link to help you with this issue:
http://insect.pnwhandbooks.org/pnw-insect-management-handbook/emerging-pest-spotted-wing-drosophila