A Tulsa County fruit grower recently caught a suspicious looking fly that turned out to be the spotted wing drosophila, according to a news release.
Unlike other fruit flies that favor rotting fruit on which to lay eggs, spotted wing drosophila seeks out fruit just reaching maturity.
“What makes SWD potentially more economically important than other fruit flies is its ability to cut into intact fruit, using their serrated ovipositor to inject eggs under the skin,” Eric Rebek, Oklahoma State University Extension entomologist, said in the release. “This allows the subsequent larval stage to be present during ripening and can lead to detection in ripe fruit after harvest.”
A native of Southeast Asia, the pest was first detected in California in 2008 and has since spread throughout the Pacific Northwest and Florida.
Last year, it was confirmed in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Minnesota.
Growers can monitor for the pest by building inexpensive traps from drink cups.
View the instructions on the Oklahoma State University website.
Several products are commercially labeled for use on the pest, and growers can reduce population buildups by harvesting on time and removing overripe fruit, according to the release.