Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a pest native to Asia that arrived in the U.S. in 2008. It’s a version of the common fruit fly, but with a sinister twist. The female lays larvae in the berries (up to to 60 in one day) and ruins the fruit. It’s a multi-national, multi-million dollar problem -- California lost over 40% of their 2016 crop.
The conventional wisdom is to spray chemical insecticides.
The Farm Lola crew, working with an entomologist from the University of Minnesota and an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth came up with different plans.
Thus far we have been able to manage the pest with traps, traps and more traps, keeping the fields clean of over-ripe fruit (thanks pickers for helping with that!) and the application of an organic mint insecticide.