thornless black berries

Asked April 21, 2016, 12:11 AM EDT

They ripen in sept/oct. We peck and refrigerate them over night by morning little white bugs/worm (1-2mm) are crawling all over them. what do we do. Spray? rip them out? We also have Young, Boysen, cascade, and 55 blue berries.

Multnomah County Oregon insect issues insect identification blackberries small fruits

1 Response

From your description, it sounds like the recently arrived invasive flies -- Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzuckii), also referred to as SWD -- have found your berries. These small insects look very similar to the nuisance fruit flies that hang around over-ripe fruits. SWD is very different. SWD is a serious pest in gardens and agriculture because it attacks ripening fruit that’s still on the plant or tree. Common hosts are soft-skinned fruits such as blueberries, cane berries, and cherries.

It’s recommended that home gardeners rely most heavily on protecting the fruits with netting; harvesting promptly or even a little early; and to immediately eat, process, or freeze the fruit after harvesting it. Because late maturing fruits tend to be the most common victims of SWD, some home gardeners have replaced those varieties with earlier maturing kinds.

If you are a commercial grower – a person who sells the fruits either fresh or processed -- please contact one of these OSU Extension Service Agents: Nick Andrews (971-801-0391) or Heidi Noordijk (971-801-0392).

Resources for you:

- Recognize Fruit Damage from Spotted Wing Drosophila https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/files/project/pdf/em9021.pdf

- Protecting garden fruits from Spotted Wing Drosophila http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20883/em9026.pdf

- Much more information at this site: http://spottedwing.org/