There is renewed interest nationwide in improving IPM for spotted wing drosophila (SWD). This pest has been present in the continental US for over a decade, and a considerable amount of research has been done since it was first detected in 2008. Two federal grant programs (USDA-SCRI and USDA Areawide) have funded projects on SWD, with Washington entomologists participating. The SCRI project is national in scope, with collaborators from across the US who have expertise in managing SWD in cherry and berry crops. The SWD Areawide project (the same program category as the apple Areawide project of the 1990s) has sites in Washington, Oregon, and California. The research objectives include insecticide resistance detection, biological control, behavioral control, monitoring and economics, but both projects are strongly slanted to implementation. Of particular interest is the pending application for release of an Asian parasitoid (sound familiar?) to help combat SWD, especially in unmanaged habitat. Ganaspis brasiliensis was found on collecting trips in SWD’s native range and has undergone extensive laboratory testing in quarantine. If the application is approved by APHIS, releases could occur in Washington as early as next year. A third project examines the intersection of SWD and Little Cherry Disease management, a problem unique to PNW cherries.
The SWD efforts in Washington are led by Betsy Beers and Tobin Northfield, which will help provide a holistic view of cherry pest management. Expect to hear more on these projects in the winter meetings, and visit the Orchard Pest Management website http://treefruit.wsu.edu/crop-protection/opm/spotted-wing-drosophila/ for an updated article on SWD.