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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #441037

Research Project: Spotted Wing-Drosophila Areawide Project - Phase II

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22430-003-040-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

Spotted-wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, a native insect of Asia, is now a serious world-wide invasive pest that attacks small fruits and cherries. While insecticides can be effective against SWD, some products can harm beneficial insects, cause secondary pest outbreaks, complicate exports due to fruit maximum residue limits, or negatively impact the environment and human health. Pesticides and other common management approaches for SWD have focused on within-crop management. Because SWD can develop on many wild and ornamental species, the surrounding landscape contributes to pest pressure, and therefore, areawide controls require closer examination. This project will focus on sustainable tools based on: 1) evidence of efficacy, 2) likelihood of grower adoption, 3) availability of a commercial product, 4) practicality, and 5) economics. Areawide tools include parasitoid releases into the adjacent non-crop area, SWD modeling/ monitoring to better time insecticide applications, and non-toxic behavioral control products.

Our team of entomologists, commercial growers, and a crop management company will work on an Areawide management plan. We selected sites to collect baseline data from one site pair in California and Washington, and two pairs in Oregon in year one (Phase I). Paired sites (implementation and control) are separated by at least 3 km and sampled to establish pre-trial SWD and natural enemy population trends. Data are collected both from the field and in surrounding vegetation. In Phase II, we will release parasitoids into surrounding non-crop areas and work with growers to incorporate other sustainable tools. Then, we will evaluate whether SWD pressure was reduced with sustainable tools, parasitoids were established, practices were adopted by growers, pesticide use was reduced, resistance was managed, and estimate costs. Ultimately, we believe that growers will be able to produce their crops more sustainably through Areawide adoption.