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Spotted Wing Drosophila Management

Management - Commercial Fruit Producers

(For Home Garden Recommendations scroll down this page)

The suppression of Spotted Wing Drosophila to levels low enough to protect a marketable crop required multiple tactics for success. First of all, it is important to use traps to determine when SWD begin to infest a field. Then, continuing to monitor susceptible crops with traps and fruit sampling to verify adequate control is recommended.

gathering cull strawberries from day neutral field (curtesy of Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) There are 4 major types of tactics recommended:

  • Sanitation - keep area free of overripe fruit by harvesting frequently and thoroughly to reduce habitat for build up; collect cull fruit or fruit fallen to the ground; eliminate wild hosts as much as possible
  • Canopy Management - keep fruit planting well pruned and with open airy canopy as much as possible; this discourages the build-up of SWD which prefers cool, moist, shady locations.
  • Refrigeration of harvested fruit - move harvested fruit to refrigeration as soon as possible to reduce post harvest exposure to SWD and slow down any existing larval development
  • Chemical Control - use of short residual pesticides (organic and conventional) are likely the most effective short term solution for this pest.  The key principles are to make frequent thorough applications, use materials with short harvest intervals, rotate materials from among different mode-of-action groups (IRAC) to avoid the development of resistance in SWD populations to effective materials.  See chart below for recommended materials.

Additional tactics being tested:

  • Exclusion - small areas can be covered with fine netting or row covers prior to fruit ripening to keep SWD out or make treatment easier in confined space; this may be especially useful in high tunnels.  University of Vermont is recommending a product called Proteknet which is available from a Canadian Company, Duboisag.  See: or contact them at 800-463-9999.
  • Micro Sprinklers or Mistigation - research is being done in the application of different materials (control and repellent) using solid set micro sprinkler delivery; the advantage is ease of application (can treat whole area at one time) which makes frequent application more practical; disadvantage is that it works best in small blocks and requires up front investment for installing the system (see WSU Extension's Pest Management and Blueberry Mistigation For SWD Control for more information)
  • Biological Control - researchers are looking for suitable predators, parasitoids, pathogens and other beneficial organisms that might help suppress SWD populations.


2020 Recommended Insecticide charts for New England

2020 SWD Insecticide recommendations for STONE FRUIT - UConn

2020 SWD Insecticide recommendations for SMALL FRUIT - UConn

These are guides. ALWAYS check the label!



A complete discussion of SWD management practices can be found in the Penn State SWD Management Fact Sheet

Management - Home Garden Recommendations

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