SWD in fall raspberries

Asked March 22, 2019, 6:41 AM EDT

Hello. I have been growing fall bearing raspberries in Oakland county for the last 15 years. I am a backyard gardener. Due to a increasing weed problem I decided to move my patch and start a new area of about a 100 ft of new plants. Reading now about SWD I wonder if it is worth the investment. I don't mind dealing with a few bugs and don’t sell my fruit. I do not want however to be ignorant about the growing SWD issue. Am I just asking for trouble planting raspberries at this time? Are there any effective control methods on the horizon? I hate the thought of not having the berries but also don’t want to have a whole crop of infected fruit. What say you?

Oakland County Michigan fruits and vegetables raspberries swd raspberry insects spotted wing drosophila

1 Response

At this time the only effective control for SWD is regular frequent insecticide sprays to kill the flies before they lay their eggs in the fruit. Due to the fact that the fly reproduces quickly and continuously through the growing season the population is very high by the time of fall raspberries and raspberries are on of their favorite hosts.
I used to recommend fall raspberry as an easy to grow fruit which required little care and had few pests.
I no longer recommend fall raspberries to home owners because most people do not want to spray an insecticide every 3 days or build an enclosure to cover the plants with insect netting. I do know people who say if you pick them every day and eat them immediately, SWD are not a problem, but I suspect they are getting a little extra protein. The clue to knowing if there are SWD in the raspberry fruit is whether the receptacle is white or stained pink from juice from leaky fruit.