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Oregon Farmers Warned to Prepare For Potentially Devastating Fly

Listen to Rob Manning Discuss the Fly Warning With Beth Hyams

Scientists exhorted farmers at a Portland meeting Tuesday to prepare to set traps and spray chemicals to deal with a potentially devastating fly. The spotted wing drosophila was first discovered in Oregon last August.

The tiny fly can destroy ripe berries, grapes, and even tomatoes. Females pierce the fruit’s skin, bury their eggs, and then the larvae’s development kills the fruit.

Lynell Tanigoshi with Washington State University said at least the flies seem vulnerable to chemicals. “The tests that I’ve done - this animal is very easy to kill. It’s a small, fragile insect. I tell you, everything we have registered legally for small fruits, strawberries, blueberry – is deadly," he said.
But scientists say there’s still a lot they don’t know about the invasive fly – and they don’t want to overdo it with chemicals. This summer will be the first full growing season with the drosophila in Oregon.  Researchers want to measure and monitor every possible aspect.

Scientists are asking farmers, and even non-farmers with fruit trees in their yards to set up traps to detect the fly.

For more information:

OSU: Spotted Wing Drosophila

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