The spotted wing Drosophila, an insect that can damage berries, cherries and other crops, was recently found in Chile for the first time.
The discovery of the pest is not expected to interfere with Chilean produce exports to the U.S., in part because the pest is not affecting commercial orchards, according to the Chilean Agriculture Service. In addition, the spotted wing Drosophila is already in the U.S. and has been since 2008.
For those reasons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not detained any shipments from Chile, according to the Chilean Agriculture Service.
The spotted wing Drosophila has also been in found in Canada and in European countries.
In Chile, the insects were found in traps near urban areas in three regions in the south of the country.
Officials are currently evaluating the situation, and as a preventative measure the Chilean Agriculture Service is communicating with grower groups about how to manage the pest in orchards.
Chile is the world’s largest exporter of blueberries.