- Fruits: berries (blueberries)
- Pest Management: integrated pest management
Owing to its warm climate, Florida has a unique, early-season blueberry market valued over $84 million. Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii Matsumura; “SWD”), a global, invasive pest of small, soft-skinned fruits, has become a significant pest of Florida’s blueberries over the last decade by rendering ripe fruit unmarketable. Currently, heavy pesticide use is the only feasible and effective control for this pest. The high cost of pesticides and the development of resistance threaten to collapse Florida’s niche blueberry market, and excessive pesticide use endangers farm workers and non-target organisms like pollinators, beneficial insects, fish and wildlife.
This project’s aim was two-fold: to thoroughly map seasonal timing and patterns of SWD migration from woodlands into blueberry fields; and to evaluate the efficacy of HOOK SWD, a new attract-and-kill product containing an SWD-specific fruit volatile-based attractant and a low-risk, naturally derived insecticide to control SWD populations. Understanding spatio-temporal patterns of SWD migration and utilization of attract-and-kill technology can facilitate more targeted insecticide applications, reducing the amount of insecticide used, reducing costs for farmers, limiting insecticide exposure, and improving environmental quality.
Objective 1: Monitor season-long adult SWD population density and map seasonal patterns of movement along a woodland-to-cropland gradient on two Florida blueberry farms (one conventional, one certified organic).
Objective 2: Compare adult SWD mortality and larval infestation using choice and no-choice cage experiments between HOOK-treated and untreated blueberry plants.
Objective 3: Compare adult and larval SWD population density in HOOK-treated fields to untreated fields on two Florida blueberry farms (one conventional, one certified organic).