Mushy fruit? You might have invasive fruit fly called spotted wing drosophila

spotted wing drosophila courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension
Spotted wing drosophila. Photo courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension

by Connie Oswald Stofko

If you’re having problems with your fruit this year, it might be due to an invasive fruit fly called the spotted wing drosophila.

The fruit fly is in Western New York. Cornell Cooperative Extension representatives in Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties told me it has been found those counties, and it has been found in other counties as well.

One of the biggest tell-tale signs of damage from the spotted wing drosophila is beautiful looking fruit that turns to mush upon picking, said Betsy Burgeson, Master Gardener Program coordinator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County. There are other signs, too, which you can see in photos here.

For home gardeners, it is more likely going to be an issue for later maturing fruit such as fall raspberries and later blueberry varieties, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. See a list of fruit that can be damaged by the spotted wing drosophila here.

If you have fruit affected by the spotted wing drosophila, you can get detailed information on what to do about the problem in the Cornell fact sheet “How do I manage Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)
in my garden?”

In Chautauqua County, Burgeson asks that if you notice mushy fruit, please bag it up and take it to the Cornell Cooperative Extension office, 3542 Turner Rd Jamestown, for confirmation.

If you have more questions, you can contact Cornell Cooperative Extension in your county.




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