Refining an attracticidal sphere management system for spotted-wing drosophila in small fruit production

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2016: $198,902.00
Projected End Date: 10/31/2019
Grant Recipient: USDA-ARS
Region: Northeast
State: West Virginia
Project Leader:

Information Products


  • Fruits: berries (other), berries (blueberries), berries (brambles), cherries, berries (strawberries)


  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: biorational pesticides, chemical control, eradication, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, prevention, traps
  • Production Systems: holistic management, organic agriculture
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) represents a significant and real-time threat to the livelihood of small fruit growers in the USA. SWD is a recently established invasive pest present in 45 states, including all Northeastern states, decimating small fruit crop yield and quality. Losses are estimated to potentially reach $718 million annually. SWD attacks healthy, intact blueberries, caneberries, strawberries, and cherries by laying eggs in ripening fruit before harvest. Emerging maggots feed in the fruit causing rapid quality decline and consumer rejection. Threatened small fruit production in the Northeast alone includes 70,000 acres. Low thresholds for damage and infestation in fresh markets and zero tolerance for infested fruit for exportation have led some growers to either cease production or begin applying weekly or semi-weekly preventative insecticide applications in the absence of sensitive monitoring tools. The current cost increase for controlling spotted wing drosophila is $183/acre ( This approach is not ecologically or economically sustainable. Alternative strategies for managing SWD in commercial small fruit operations that reduce the need for frequent insecticide applications, prevent outbreaks of secondary pests, and improve ecosystem services provided by beneficial arthropods are critically needed.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    Fifty farmers in the Northeast will adopt  IPM-based strategies, such as attracticidal spheres, to aid SWD management on an average of 1 acre per farm. Adoption will result in up to 4 fewer insecticide applications per season for a savings of $91/acre in small fruit plantings

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.