SWD Raspberry Infestation

Asked September 14, 2019, 12:30 PM EDT

We have an amazing good-sized raspberry patch which has become increasingly infested with Spotted Wing Drosophila. Wondering what organic means I might use to help control this. Would burning our patch in the fall help? How about mowing it all down and hauling the cut bushes off to be burned? What about organic sprays? Our chickens free range and help clean up berries dropped on the ground, but are they just making it worse in that they drop the now fertilized results? Any help you can give me would be so very much appreciated! Thank you in advance! Miriam theheppnerfamily@hotmail.com

Roseau County Minnesota

1 Response

First, I'll give you a link, which contains most of what I know about SWD:
https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-insects/spotted-wing-drosophila

Timing is quite important for most of the controls, which means daily monitoring for the presence of adult AWD. Sanitation and exclusion (netting) are the two most important non-chemical controls.

I don't think burning would be any more effective than making sure all berries are cleaned up. The SWD deposit their eggs in the fruit, where the larvae feed until becoming adults.

I don't think the larvae or eggs would survive a chicken's digestive system. Some non-research sites recommend feeding infested fruit to chickens or other fowl.