Growers can monitor for the pest by making simple traps from 32-ounce plastic containers with lids.
Drill four 3/8-inch holes around the top of each container, and fill them with about 1 ½ inches of a fermented bait solution made from ½ packet of baker’s yeast (found in the grocery store baking aisle), 4 tablespoons sugar, 12 ounces water and two drops surfactant or unscented dish detergent.
Entomologists in Oregon recommend using apple cider vinegar in traps.
But Price says his research has found the yeast-sugar mixture to be more effective under Florida conditions, and he’s given up on the vinegar.
To make the traps even more attractive, Liburd recommends placing a band of yellow paper or cardboard around the inside of the cup above the waterline.
Drill two small holes near the top and attach a hanging wire.
In blueberries, Liburd recommends placing them at a rate of two per acre, with one on the exterior and one in the interior of the field. Position the traps inside bushes.
For strawberries, Price recommends hanging one trap on each exterior side of the field to keep them away from tractor activity. Check the traps and replace the yeastsugar solution at least weekly.
Field sanitation also will be a key component since rotting fruit can attract SWD, Liburd says. “Harvest ripe berries on a regular basis, and remove all dropped berries,” he says. “Sanitation is extremely important.”
Controlling SWD will be more successful on an area-wide basis, Liburd says. If you’re vigilant about trapping and culled fruit removal and your neighbor isn’t, the pest could build up next door and move into your field.
Price says there is no economic treatment threshold, since the fly has yet to cause economic damage.
If needed, several products will control the pest, including Delegate, Phosmet, malathion, diazinon, Danitol, Mustang and Asana. In selecting a product, growers should take into account pre-harvest intervals, which can run as high as 14 days, Liburd says.
Growers also should consider a pesticide’s impact on beneficial insects, such as bigeyed bugs and minute pirate bugs, Liburd says. For organic producers, GF120, Pyganic, Entrust and Aza-Direct will provide some level of control, he says.
Kaolin clay, which prevents the females from ovipositing on fruit, also is an option. But the product leaves a white film that could affect marketability if it isn’t washed off the fruit, he says.
For more information, download the UF EDIS publication, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in839.