Oregon growers, officials plan assault on newly discovered pest

09/28/2009 12:04:40 PM
Don Schrack

The pest has apparently not migrated into neighboring Washington, at least not in large numbers.

“There’s been a single insect find in the Seattle area,” said Mike Willett, technical issues manager for the Northwest Horticultural Council, Yakima, Wash. “There have been no reports of drosophilae having been found in the Yakima and Wenatchee areas.”

Those are the state’s largest cherry, apple and pear growing regions.

Because there is no history of the fruit fly in the northwest, Willett said growers and researchers have more questions about the pest than they have answers. Whether the drosophila will threaten the state’s crops in the future is one of those unanswered questions.

“But it’s premature to assume the pest is the newest, most serious insect to arrive in the northwest,” Willett said.

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